The sea is getting warm again

Cool yellow Nudi!
    The past few weeks were not exactly comfortable for diving due to the upwelling of cold seawater ( 24deg C), bad visibility due to the plankton blooms from the nutrients in the upwelling seawater and abundant clouds of zooplankton and strings of juvenile jelly fish. Thank goodness for stinger suits,  :-)  Fun dives were actually not so fun, work dives were typically torturous if we need to stay underwater for a long time (Work is work though, and it needs to be done). 

Giant Nudi!
So you can imagine how grateful we were when we realize the water has become warm this morning. The temperature was pleasurably cool at 27°C, and there was no stinging jelly fish anymore. Water is crystal clear now. On top of that, the sea seems more lively than usual: we saw fish spawning and many colourful nudibranch ^^

The upwelling is great for the Cambridge A level Marine science 9693 students, they have an on the door step example of how physical oceanography, changes the environment and the biology follows suit.  
We have watched offshore winds make the sea millpond calm but distinctly chilly, phyto plankton blooms turn the water green, then copepods eat the phytoplankton, and then clouds of small fish eat the copepods.  The whole food web process was happening in the sea in front of the classroom.   The best bits of course have been the whale sharks which came to eat the zooplankton and small fish.  As I write this there is a huge school of anchovies in the shallows trying to avoid being food for a larger fish by jumpig out of the wate in a shimmering wave.

More info about volunteering with TRACC in Malaysia - Turtle Snorkellers - Divers 

The Cambridge Marine science A level class 9693 starts mid January each year for exams in May/June.  The course is approximately 12 weeks and leads to a full A level.  All students to 2016 have done really well with amazing grades including the BEST marine science student in the world for 2 yearsw running (2015 & 2016). This course is ideal if you want to boost your qualificatons during a gap year or learn something useful while you travel.  Email info@tracc-borneo.org to find out more or make a booking.