An incredible intern experience

On Monday I finally had to bid TRACC farewell. It was about the hardest goodbyes I have ever had to do. My days at TRACC have been some of my happiest and I am so incredibly greatful for the opportunity to be the social media intern at TRACC this summer.

The diving was unreal, and I feel so privileged to have been able to develop my relationship with our underwater world. I went from 8 dives to 85, and became certified as an advanced diver. My diving skills improved so much over this time. Under the awesome instruction of Gov, I learnt a huge amount about my buoyancy, navigation, and recovery of objects in the ocean. I was then able to use those skills in my conservation work- collecting and planting corals and sea fans, dropping artificial reefs, and conducting surveys and mapping underwater, and then passing on my newfound knowledge onto others.

I learnt about the marine ecosystems around Pom Pom, and was able to identify species and learn about the part they play in the ocean. If I ever had a question about science, I was able to immediately pick the minds of our talented science officers or interns and learn. I also learnt about the social aspects of marine conservation, and the issues facing local people- particularly the Bajau people from Kulapuan.

The greatest part about my time at TRACC has been the people. TRACC is a melting pot of cultures, all so different, but with similar ideas about the important responsibility we have to preserve our beautiful environment. I have made lifelong friends with people from all over the world, who beautifully all ended up stranded together on the desert island of Pom Pom.

I will not forget: Tent life, sandfly bites, rashy tan lines, naked final dive, grilled cheese late at night, sweaty Semporna shopping trips, late night girl talks, Jo's dance moves, ABC party, Allia's hugs, early morning dives, Aisyah's talks, Nathan's sass, Christmas diarrhoea, playing hearts while diving, Bohey Dulang views, Lilly's Cackle,  dance partys on the Jetty, noodles and rice, Gino <3, finding pant legs with Cam, Hallelujah camp fires, Diniy and the trigger fish, Bujaaaaannngggg, the tooth brushing station, Australia Day, and so much more.

Thank you to each and every staff member, intern and volunteer at TRACC for your passion, willingness to share and learn, dedication to tracc and all it stands for, and most of all for your friendship. I hope our paths will cross in the very near future. Most of all thank you to Steve Oakley for creating something magical. I only managed to meet you for three short days, but be assured your legacy is shining bright on Pom Pom.