Blog for 2009-06-26

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Our last full day on Gaya Island certainly did not disappoint! After waking up and eating breakfast, we all split up to work on our various projects... and other than Douwe coming dangerously close to getting his face nipped by a Spiked-Cheek Anemonefish, that went pretty smoothly for Team Anemone.

After lunch, most of us spent time R-ing in the canteen, and then it was back to Sapi Reef for our LAST SNORKEL HERE ☹ ☹ ☹. But, that last snorkel CERTAINLY did not disappoint, because a bunch of us got to see a green sea turtle!!! Once a very kind tourist pointed it out, it was a mad 20-person dash to check out the sea turtle. Some of us were swimming DIRECTLY ABOVE IT and see it wave its arms like wings; when we dove down to get a little closer, we could see it from the side, the platelets on its head, and the symbiotic fish swimming under its shell! It was INCREDIBLE. Then Douwe, of course, dove right down there and started following him. The turtle noticed and SHOT OFF – it went from a nice, slow, relaxed pace to showing us that those things can move FAST! He swam in a circle for a little bit trying to get away from Douwe, and then when Douwe ran out of breath and came up for air, he shot off into open sea. Wow. That was an amazing experience!!!

Douwe getting owned by an anemonefish... moments before it charges him almost 2 meters and he squeals like a little girl.  :-P

Then we came back to the bay and cleaned up in time to watch the sunset. Beautiful and fun. ☺

Then we had dinner and then we met some of the coolest people I've ever seen! The Infinity Sea Tribe is a group of 14 adults from all over the world who got together and decided that they wanted to sail around Southeast Asia and Hawaii and record personal stories that show the effects of climate change – on REAL people, putting a face to an issue. So they gave up the next 3 years of their lives and are in the middle of sailing across the world recording stories of the effects of climate change on island tribes and peoples. They are SO COOL. AND they are always looking for members of their crew, even if only for a little while -- hopefully some of us will be seeing them again soon!

Now we’re all sitting here finishing our projects – presentations are tomorrow, and then, sadly, we leave this beautiful island. Back to the city, then climbing Mt. Kinabalu. I think it's mixed feelings for everyone -- so sad to leave, yet so excited to be going on a new and different adventure! ☺