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Sun, Sea and Mosquitos - Katie Dunn

So we’re now safely back on dry land, despite various threats of tropical cyclones or being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Well to be exact, there’s only the one of us being eaten alive, and apparently his blood is so tasty he acts as a repellent for the rest of us. Sorry Winston…

We all loved the boat so much. The sea breeze, the chilled atmosphere, visiting true pirate islands where we could sword fight each other – it was fantastic. For me there were several highlights.

Firstly, visiting a lemur park on a remote island, where the lemurs would jump up onto your shoulders and eat bananas out of your hands. There were three different species of the lemur in one place at the same time, which is rare. We also found a giant tortoise on a different island who we fed lots of bananas too.

Secondly, Winston and I just happened to be swimming off the boat when a pod of wild dolphins appeared and swam right under us. They moved through pretty quickly, but we still managed to see them underwater and they were beautiful.

Another highlight would be the beach party we had for one our instructor’s birthday. We had a big bonfire and music, and a local Malagasy man came out to dance with us by the fire.

Nosy Iranja was a perfect island where some of the Pirates of the Carribean movies were filmed. Pure white sand and aquamarine sea. Three of the leapers saw 6 turtles while out snorkelling. There were lovely local markets on the island too, and a little bar with cold drinks – the consensus is it was everyone’s favourite place.

Finally just being on the boat with the wonderful crew and our instructors Justin and Alice was brilliant. We slept out on deck each night looking up at the stars and enjoying the cool night breeze – we actually needed blankets on the boat! The food was fantastic due to our brilliant chef Mark, and we all got really close and learned lots about each other.

Now, returned to camp, we miss the boat, but are ready to get stuck in to the forest conservation and teaching.

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