|Torbay Snorkel Day Trip Report
Saturday 7th of December 2019
|Images from the day|
I was really looking forward to my first EMR event of the season, at Torbay. I wasn’t disappointed, it was great fun and not anywhere near as chaotic as last year, with everything running very smoothly. I got the opportunity to go snorkelling with Lorna and really enjoyed it. We got to see two lemon nudibranch, plus lots of spotties and triplefin. Despite the forecast the weather was really nice and the boat traffic was a lot less than last year. I also enjoyed looking through the whitebait connection discovery trays and it was cool to see so many small kids involved. The volunteer guides are awesome with young kids and we got lots of positive feedback from their parents. On land Rutu did an amazing job or organising the wetsuits with the help of Guy and Angela. Lorna put on a fantastic lunch as always and there were lots of yummy snacks.
-- Written by Lauren Dowling (11)
The first time I had ever experienced EMR was at the Poor Knights Island Snorkel Day in October that gave me an understanding, admiration and with no lie, a humble and satisfying inferiority. It led me to be a volunteer for EMR at a public snorkelling day event on the 7th of December at Waiake Beach in Torbay.
This is an overview of how my first volunteering experience rolled out to be:
• Our day started off almost too well - all the snorkeling equipment, base tent and interaction spaces were set up and ready to go, but for a few minutes we had to settle participants who were already keen to get started until our official event time kicked off!
• There was a moment where we all gathered together to open the day with karakia and whakawhanaungatanga (Introductions! “Who I am and what my role is today”) so that we could meet our team and be briefed on Health and Safety, as well as, Self and Public care.
• My role for the first half of the morning was to be one of two kayakers who would look across the water for Senior Guides if they needed assistance with their groups, and to also keep up a perimeter between exploring snorkelers and the racing jet skis/boats that were around.
With the teamwork of everyone, the day ran so smoothly, and I can only speak from my experience out on the water, but I felt that the team coordination created a safe and fun atmosphere across both land and sea, for the participants of the public in between.
In the second half of the day I spent the time learning as an assistant guide in the water.
• Visibility got better and better as people became more confident to go further and further out and it was impressive to see the Senior Guides in action with every group of people that came to snorkel.
• Some tamariki were scared at first, but the Guides were amazingly patient to take the experience slowly and settle or ease any worries/doubts. They would also pick up small taonga (treasures) of starfish or look for schools of fish to enable a better experience.
It was like this over the whole day and at the end of the event, we debriefed our experiences as volunteers and celebrated all the positive feedback that came from the public across the day. Not only was the event well organised and well prepared, it was also fun, interactive, safe and beautiful both in and out of the water.
Thank you EMR for the great experience and beautiful people!
-- Written by Waiata Rameka-Tupe