Sighting, stories, reviews, and experiences from the diving and snorkeling volunteers with TRACC.


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Sunday - Fun Day

There is a tradition at TRACC to down tools on Sundays and just find fun things to do. It's always a bit of a surprise waiting to see what the crew will think up to entertain us with on Sundays. This week was a double treat as the dive masters chose two seperate islands to explore from the water.

The crew know the surrounding areas really well so it doesn't take them long to find us some great places to dive.

We started our morning with a quick trip in the boat known as the "Green Turtle".
After a quick stop by at the police to let them know we were diving near by we headed to a dive wall of the coast of Kalapuan.  The tides a creating a bit of cloud at the moment but it adds to the mystique of the walls which disappear into the darkness below, leaving us to ponder what lays beneath looking up at our silhouettes as we pass by.

Cameron and Sonny exploring the wall at Kalapuan

After our first dive we have morning tea to freshen up and allow our nitrogen to balance out prior to the next dive.

Having morning tea on the Green Turtle between dives
Just to give ourselves a little longer out of the dive gear we headed over to Timba Timba to do some jetty jumping. 

The crew lining up on the Timba Timba jetty for some quick dives. 

Our next dive was off the coast of Timba Timba where dive masters Sonny, Alessio and Adam managed to find us another wall to explore. 

Sonny, Cameron and Nathan exploring the reef at Timba Timba
Cameron after seeing a large groper swim by. 

Once back on Pom Pom Island there was still enough daylight for one final dive to my favourite dive site, a small wreck walking distance from the TRACC campsite. 

Although the current was very strong which stirred up a lot of sediment and made the dive difficult it was still great to see the fish hiding from the current in the wreck. 

Sweetlips and midnight snapper sheltering in the wreck. 

While Norma holds a rope against the current Katie uses her slate to ask if she is OK with the strong current

A turtle passes us by while we were on the wreck dive


Visit from Ross School - New York

It is not uncommon for new people to arrive at the TRACC campsite when the boat returns from Semporna with fresh supplies. New people are quickly assimilated into the TRACC community. However this week it wasn’t one or two new people arriving but 30 new people arriving as the Ross School stopped by Pom Pom island as part of their Borneo field trip. 

*A video record of the Ross School visit is also on youtube. Ross School Visit to TRACC

Boats arriving with students from Ross School

Students enjoying sunset on their first evening at Pom Pom Island
Alessio talking about palm oil. 

It was a vast change in dynamics because now the TRACC team were outnumbered almost 2 to 1 with people new to camp life. Luckily the students and teachers were eager to jump in and learn about life on a tropical island. Traveling is always exhausting so we were impressed that at the end of a long day the students managed to stay attentive through the induction and some opening presentations. 

The Ross school was with us for a total of 3 days and we managed to fit a lot into a short period with many presentations covering things such as dangers to watch out for in the marine environment, the importance of mangroves, the impact of palm oil on the environment, issues caused by shark finning and many more. 

Cameron giving presentation on mangroves
Sitting around campfire at night

On the morning of their departure we managed to catch up with some of the teachers and students and it was great to hear that they took a lot out of their short stay with us. Everyone had a slightly different highlight although a common theme was that everyone really enjoyed their time at island of Kalapuan. We traveled in 3 boats from Pom Pom island to Kalapuan island and docked at the house of one of the locals there. The temperature seemed much hotter at Kalapuan than at Pom Pom island as we were sheltered from any wind. Despite the tropical heat the students and teachers jumped in with a number of activities including making cement to be used to build artificial reefs, a beach clean where the local kids helped out and a walk around the island. The highlight for many of the TRACC team was watching the students dance with the local children. Despite being very young or perhaps because of it the locals were amazingly fast learners and could instantly mirror the dance moves the Ross students where doing. 

Dancing with the children at Kalapuan Island

Giving some treats to the kids who helped with beach clean

Building bottle reefs to help restore the coral

Ross school students helping out with beach clean

Fast learners local children dance with students

TRACC team with Ross School team.

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