Two weeks into my new job as Junior Marine Educator at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles and I keep getting asked “So, how is the job going?”  My reply has been “What’s not to like?” To summarise, I spend my day at the beach and in-between talking to interested guests at the Marine Ecology picnic table I go snorkelling in the lovely bay of Petite Anse with the odd dive thrown in.  Not that it’s not hard work, 4 snorkels in a day and attentive customer service can take it out of you but it seems churlish to complain!

The bay here at Petite Anse has plenty to offer. On my very first day Lindsay came down to the beach to find a veritable marine life965766_570988456297071_253638757_o party. It started with lots of little fish schooling in the shallows (and on the beach!), then an octopus came right up to the edge of the beach inking along the way. Clearly something was frightening these guys so we went out to investigate. As we snorkelled out it was clear what was happening. The water was thick with plankton (ouch!), which brought out the little fish, which bought out the bigger fish. Before we knew it hundreds of jack fish encircled us. Quite a sight! On top of that the white tip reef shark showed up to greet me so all in all a jam-packed first snorkel.

The days here do have a rhythm to them but on the other hand you never quite know what or who is going to turn up. You can find1421094_10151947184578168_1379439742_o yourself chatting with kids who seem to already know all about the marine life here.  A moment later you are helping to identify a mystery fish someone has seen on a snorkel with fairly minimal details “it was kind of blue with a bit of black on it’s…”. Next, you might be giving a talk to some guests on why sharks aren¹t really the meanies the media makes them out to be.

In fact whilst giving one of these talks Lindsay had a call from the beach reporting that a dead hawksbill turtle had been washed up on the beach. A quick dash down to the end of the beach bought us face to face with the sad sight of a fully-grown female hawksbill. She had obviously been in the water for some time but was still pretty much in tact (if a little smelly!). Whilst it was distressing and sad, it was great to see the resort guests handle the incident with rational calmness. There were no conclusive signs of cause of death but it was a good opportunity to discuss with them the very real dangers she could have faced in the ocean, from discarded plastic to fishing lines. The incident provided a real life beach classroom and emphasised the importance and relevance of our role here.

P1000685So as I roll into week three with yet another sighting of our resident white tip (I think (s)he should have a name ­ suggestions?) I am excited to be part of the WiseOceans team – sharing these incredible experiences with the guests here in our little corner of paradise.
 Charlotte Orba