Lake Pupuke Training Trip Report
Sunday 24th of November 2019
Images from the day
We showed up at the Dolphin Underwater Club around 10am on a Sunday morning, keen and ready for a day of learning about EMR and the various skills of being an EMR snorkel guide. Lorna met us at the front door, and it wasn’t long before we had a room of eager volunteers excited for their day.
We got into a circle for name introductions and the naming of our favorite marine critter. After brief reconsideration Lorna’s jandal was swapped for a cushion as the speaking item that was tossed around and we quickly covered all 37 participants. We turned out to be a diverse crew from variety of backgrounds and experience but all with a love for the ocean and our local marine environments in common!
Lorna then ran us through the history of EMR as well as some snorkeling physics, followed by some example briefings of a snorkeling session. The pressure was on when we got split into several small groups to give our own briefings a go. Pretending we were addressing a group of keen snorkelers we carefully went through our checklists covering a karakia, hand signals, equipment use and the kaupapa around being in marine reserves. Lorna’s jokes were borrowed as well as some individual creative flair being added.
The second half of the day was a practical session. We kitted up in the classic yellow sleeved Wettie wetsuits and masks and fins were handed around. There were several stations or rotations which covered snorkel guiding, kayak skills, rescue scenarios and swimming fitness. During these sessions we got close and personal to the infamous Lake Pupuke and its abundant eelgrass, while the black swans looked on in amusement. We were all given a grade according to ability and skills to work on, which at the end of the day would cumulate into our overall snorkel guide grade.
The training day was incredibly fun, as well as being informative and insightful into all the work EMR does for our marine reserves. 37 volunteers left lake Pupuke that day, keen and ready for a summer season of being an EMR snorkel guide!
-- Written by Martina Post