With half of the team out on the liveaboard last week, the rest of the team were left to hold the fort at Roots Red Sea. After three weeks here, the team have found their footing and settled into a routine which kicks off with a hearty breakfast at around 07:30. The selection boasts pancakes and spreads, fresh fruit salad, toast and eggs just how you like them. After the team members have contented themselves and rounded off breakfast with a cup of tea, they have a team meeting at 08:10 to discuss the day ahead.

If diving is on the agenda, Mark and Shion head down to the house reef to continue their Hawkfish study. This means three dives throughout the day with data analysis taking up the time spent on dry land. On alternate days to Mark, Dani heads out on the speedboat to ‘The Rock’ where she continues data collection for her clownfish project. This week, Lucy and Helen have been working to achieve sports diver certification and so will head down to the house reef to work on rescue and other technical diving skills. Depending on tide times and the weather, Lucy takes a buddy out snorkelling a few times a day to observe Hawkfish behaviour which she records back at the lab.

On days when expedition members are not collecting data, time is spent in the lab analysing it. They also read over papers to further broaden their understanding of their projects. For people who are not carrying out a study, time in the lab can mean writing blog posts and updating the social media, editing videos and photos or just lending a helping hand. This week, members have also been writing up the preliminary report for the expedition.

The workday draws to a close at 17:00 when we have a meeting to discuss how the day went and any queries that anyone might have. This is a good chance to see how the rest of the team are doing and to catch up with other expedition members. After the meeting we are free to spend our time as we wish, the team might play volleyball or make a splash in the pool. Otherwise, people generally have an ice-cream, read a good book and take a shower.

At 19:30, everyone waits in anticipation for the sound of the bell which signifies dinner. A welcome sight, it consists of a three-course meal with soup as a starter. The evening is normally spent watching a film or chatting. One by one the team members make their way to bed after a long, productive day and once again, the camp falls silent from the chatter of the students as they refresh themselves for whatever tomorrow shall bring.

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Guest Writer: Elliot Greatrix

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