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Trip Reports


2019.05.18 PKSnorkelDay LD 03315

Experiencing Marine Reserves runs events from the Far North to Otago. Our trip reports showcase the highlights of each trip from the perspective of our volunteers. 


2019.11.30 Shakespear Snorkel Day

Shakespear Trip Report

Saturday 30th of November 2019
Written by Caroline Walmsley

Images from the day

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9am: beautiful day, slight breeze, lots of volunteers – some slightly nervous at their first EMR event for real, lots of cooperation to get things set up for participants.

10am: keenest participants begin to trickle in and we’re all go!

Time flies by. Excellent, seamless teamwork from land and sea crew. Sunscreen, wetsuit fittings, mask fittings, fin fittings. Change of plan: you’re in the kayak, not the water. Okay, more sunscreen, take off a layer, put on hat and sunglasses. Break from the kayak, lunch, back on the kayak. Off the kayak. First session in the water with real people who have no idea what’s coming up. Teschna is a very gentle and sympathetic senior guide to my inexperienced assistant. Non-swimmers who have never snorkeled before, so very gentle swimming in circles getting used to being in the water and wearing and using a mask and snorkel. Very satisfying to help someone become independent of the boogie board and breathing with confidence using a snorkel!

Second session in the water… No, change of plan, you’re back in the kayak. Marco needs help. He’s about 7 and very cold. Pile him on the boogie board, tell him to kick, and paddle a REALLY long way back to shore. Marco’s dad swims valiantly behind. All arrive puffed at the beach at the same time.

Back to camp to sign Marco and dad out of the water. The camp’s gone. Almost everything has been put away; it’s 3 o’clock already.
3.30pm: debrief, feedback from participants’ evaluation forms, feedback from volunteers. Pack up and go home. Still a beautiful day with a lovely breeze.

Lessons learned:
• It’s not always about showing participants the wildlife. Sometimes, it’s just getting them more confident in the water so that next time they can see beyond their fear of the water.
• Being an assistant guide is not as scary in real life as it seemed in the car on the way to the venue.
• Scored an excellent shortie wetsuit from the day – thanks, Lorna.
• Listen to the lovely ladies when they tell you that the sun’s vicious on the kayak. Cover up and regularly apply sunscreen. Otherwise, you end up with really weird, random stripes of sunburn on your ankles and hands. Not speaking from experience or anything. Just saying. 

-- Written by Caroline Walmsley


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