Ocean Spirits is without a doubt one of my favourite experiences and I’d urge anyone who can to do it.
I volunteered last February for 6 weeks and had never been away from home on my own, never met a turtle and never got a flight by myself. I threw myself in the deep end and honestly haven’t looked back. Ocean Spirits is a great little community doing an incredible job. Being able to say I helped is the best feeling – It’s hard work but so fun and so worth it. So much so that when I got home I booked my flights back and volunteered for another 6 weeks at the end of the season.
You get so much hands on experience and get to work with so many turtles. I’d never worked with animals before let alone turtles, but so long as you’re willing to learn Ocean Spirits teach you everything you need to know and make sure you’re comfortable with everything before you go out on survey.
Night survey was my favourite part, working on the beach every night under the stars was so much fun. You take it in turns to walk the beach every 2 hours seeing what turtles were coming up, and when they did, as a volunteer, you got to do so much. Including measuring the turtle shell, counting the eggs, helping to move the nest if it was in danger, checking for injury’s, plotting where the nest is for excavations later on in the season. You just get so much opportunity and practical experience. It’s hard work but so worth it. While I was there I got to do lots of other things as well as turtle work, like work on the local community projects, helping with litter pick ups and summer camp days with the school children.
There’s other things to do as well as night survey, later on in the season you get to do morning survey which is walking down to the next door beach called ‘Bathway’ where you check for more tracks and count what’s come up at that beach. Then there’s excavations too which are really fun, even though it takes a few showers to get the smell out! Again, it’s so worth it and so fun.
Project life was also really fun, living and working with like minded people is what made it such a great experience. You take it in turns to do all the things that needs doing so you get a chance to do everything and nobody is stuck doing the same thing.
We got lots of time to explore the island too and be a proper tourist, I saw so much! Went snorkelling – which I’d never done before, go to the neighbouring island called Sandy Island, go to the chocolate factory, go down to St George and explore all the waterfalls.
Ocean Spirits was an amazing experience and I met some incredible people, I’m already planning on when I can go back again and would say to anyone who’s thinking of volunteering – just do it!
Have a look at Hayden’s video of her time on the project 🙂