Location: Koh Tao, Thailand
After our breakfast of fruits, yogurt, toasts, and cereals, we walked down to the dive shop, New Heaven. We have gotten the morning routine down, and we had our dive gear sorted in record time. We had a morning lesson with the New Heaven Reef Conservation leader, Chad, about artificial reefs and the different kinds they have tried here. We then headed out to a site where they had some large concrete blocks that had been placed in the water to become an artificial reef, but still needed more work. That’s where we came in. Most of us dived to find and collect coral fragments that had broken off and were laying on the sand, while a few chiseled mini holes into the concrete blocks underwater. We then attached the coral fragments to the frame using marine epoxy. It was really cool to do work underwater and also feel like we contributed to the marine ecosystem. After our dive, we had some shore time, during which many of us got smoothies or ice cream at our favorite spot, the cafe next to the dive shop. We then met back for a lesson on sharks and headed over to Shark Bay, where we went with the conservation team to do a survey for black tip reef sharks. Two of the survey groups saw several sharks, and we were all lucky enough to see a huge sea turtle. After snorkeling, we went to an amazing dinner at a restaurant on the water called Taraporn, where we sat on cushions on the floor and ate delicious chicken satay and wood fire pizzas. Overall, it was a great day.