Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Adventure phase updates, Alpha 7 and 9

After completing their base camp induction, Alpha 9 headed out to the Kinabalu National Park to start their trek. Five days later we caught up with them at Sutera Harbour as they were getting ready to board the boat for their week at Dive Island.
Alpha Nine in the jungle
Steven Clegg  filled us in on how the group were getting on. I am pleased to say that they all enjoyed their trek in the jungle and have been lucky with the weather, mostly! 

Tom and Alex enjoying the jungle
Although it rained hard towards the end of the trek everyone found this a refreshing break after a hot day trekking.

Quick break from trekking for a photo

They quickly got used to life in the jungle and all their new skills learned at base camp, putting up basha's, cooking on open fires and of course digging and using the long drop,  made it that much easier.

Setting up camp
They arrived back in Kota Kinabalu on Sunday (24th February) and after spending the day in the classroom learning their diving theory they went out together for an evening feast at the Filipino market before heading over to Dive Island early the next morning.

Ready to head to Dive Island

Whilst at the harbour, we also had the chance to catch up with Alpha 7, who had just completed their PADI Open Water Dive course on the Island. Scuba diving is a chance for the groups to learn new skills, watch out for each other using the buddy system, experience  a new environment and learn how best to conserve it, including a coral planting dive.

Preparing for the coral planting

In between dives they have been practicing their new camp skills, bonding with each other, taking it in turns to lead the group for the day and putting together meal plans and cooking 
up some treats from their Raleigh rations. 

Before they jumped onto the coach and headed down to Long Pasia to start their trek we managed to get a quick report from the group before they set off...

Tuesday (19th February) and it’s time to set off for our five days on Dive Island.  After a 4.30am start the team was ready and raring to go. We were the last to leave after a lot of emotional goodbyes to our previous Delta groups. They had become like family over the past few days, it was tough to be taken out of our comfort zones but everyone is coping well.

We arrived in Kota Kinabalu at Borneo Divers Office expecting to have a normal lesson in which we learned the theory of scuba diving.  

Ready to start diving
Instead we were greeted with Chinese New Year celebrations, in which we were treated to a traditional Chinese dragon dance, followed by a typical Malaysian buffet. Once the festivities had finished and we were bursting to the brim with king prawns and chicken it was time to get down to business. The lessons finished around 5pm and it was off to Dive Island.

We arrived on the island and were completely awestruck by the beauty and tranquility of the island. Once we had explored we set up camp and went to bed ready for our week of paradise.

James and Christian taking a little down time in between dives

The next week was spent sun bathing, beating the locals at volleyball and scuba diving! Not to mention the excellent food, ranging from pancakes and doughnuts to pizza, which we cooked for ourselves from our rations. 

Nathan rustling up a treat in the kitchen

Our last day came and we went out for a small fun dive in the boat. The group saw some sea horses and sting ray.  
Heading for dive practice
The highlight would have to be getting to see the whale shark, but it managed to evade our search.  Maybe the other groups will get to see this magnificent creature.

We are getting prepared to trek now and you can tell everyone is nervous, but as a group we will have a great time with lots of type 2 fun** as well.

Alpha 7 with their PADI certificates

It was great to catch up with both groups after the first parts of their adventure face and they all left happy and excited to move on to their next adventure.  We’ll be updating you soon with news from Alpha 3’s gravity water feed and how the loop got on visiting all the project sites.

**Type 2 Fun - Fun that doesn't seem like fun until you look back later


Anonymous said...

Message for Sam Griffin Beat

Hello My Boy,

I am desperare for an update on alpha 5, what are you up to? the latest update is about alpha 7 an 9 learning to dive. So can people like you who can already dive, just go straight to diving? I hope so. hopefully you will get better visability than you got in the persian gulf. On the second photo you apeared in ( an can you come to the front of the photo so I dont have to look at you through my magnifying glasses!!! please) anyway they had you down as Sam B, now you know how crazy it makes me when people dont get my childrens names right, Can you please ask them to make sure you are down as Sam GB.well sugar has been in the dog house this week as her math teacher mailed me and said she got 11% in her maths test, i was so peed off with her, she had to resit it today, and i had her at it every nite, ( but poor thing she had noone to ask to help her with you away,) ( you know the level of mine and emmas maths!!!!!) anyway he mailed me this morning, and she got 65% not great but a vast improvement.
Ive just got back from the beach with bubaloo, she asked when you were coming home, I told her its weeks yet, she looked sad!!!!!! well I think we are playing the italians this week end, if its at twickers it will be fine, but if its in italy it could be touch and go, we will see, I will message you as soon as the game is over.
are you taking the moducare twice a day? try to as you are on the malaria tabs for such a long time, your immune system will suffer. I watched war horse last nite, it was really good, and not even half a toilet roll, i thought it would be sadder. Alfred the tall butler from downton is in it, he is really good. right going to Marks and Sparks now to stock up on food and booze for the weekend, all my very special love my darling boy xxxxxxxxx ps Grace got into DC x

Anonymous said...

For Emily Kelly, Alpha 8

Hi Emso,
It's James, How are you? Can't believe you have been on a 10 day trek! Sounds exhausting, all I have done is sit in front of my computer trying to write this dissertation. I know where I would rather be!
I imagine its completely different to the alps haa, I hope the heat isn't to extreme if you like you could send some of the heat over towards Wales because I'm bloomin freezing!
Little something to make you laugh, guess who I have staying at my house tonight?....That's right Donkey!! I'm going to take him on a night out haha I cant wait :/ Hopefully he will stop talking but I somehow doubt it.
I had a good birthday last weekend, Henry came over to Katies, when we met him at the train station he had a big coat on, his hair was wild and he had fingerless gloves on! He looked like a tramp haha
Anyway I hope your having a super super time, try not to miss me to much.
Love James xxx

Anonymous said...

Delta 1

Lieve LIES!!!
Hoe gaat het met je lieve schat??? Ik probeer een beetje de blog in de gaten te houden, en foto's van je te spotten haha! Maar ik ben zo onwijs benieuwd naar al je verhalen en dingen die allemaal hebt meegemaakt! Als je terug bent ga ik net zoals toen ik terug kwam van Raleigh dat je meteen kwam en ik al mn foto's kon laten zien enzo, dat ga ik ook zeker bij jou doen! ben echt te benieuwd, en ook hoe alle mensen zijn daar! en nog een leuke jongen ontmoet? haha! Maar heeeel veel succes en vooral plezier nog de komende weekjes!! ik mis je lieve vriendin en heb nu al zin in dat je terug bent! Hele dikke zoen van Floor (van selms, Flop, SELMA) !!xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Message for kathryn barclay alpha 9

Hi friday evening here your dad watching ulster playing on tv. All well at home love the photos! Your bedroom is tidy i'm enjoyimg watching grays anatomy u taped on sky
U have 2 unconditional offers for neuro science at leeds and edinburgh. Dont worry medicine offers not out yet hope you enjoy diving lots of love mum and dad xxx

Workdad said...

Hi Max Sheldon Alpha 5:

Hope the rain's let up and you've started bridge-building, otherwise how will those scientists get to the other side. Talking of chickens, big breaking news is that three of the chooks have started laying eggs! Maybe not every day so far, but that's the most we've had sine July last year. We're almost as excited about that as we are about your trip. Love you loads Dad xxxx

Anonymous said...

For Izzy FitzGerald
Alpha 4

While you've had too much rain we've actually had some dry and very chilly weather. We're looking forward to our mini ski trip but think it is over the two days you are back at base. So if you want to contact us try the mobiles. Hope you've having a great time - everyone is keen to hear about your adventures. Lots of love Mum and Dad xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Message for Harry Glatman

Hi Harry
Shaun has moved into our room in your absence. He was lonely! 2 March MU 4 - Norwich 0. Midweek SU v Leyton Orient 0-0. 2 March SU beat Oldham 2-0 and are 2nd in table. Leeds Rhinos 20, St. Helens 12. England lost to NZ by three wickets this week.
Weather lovely here and we took the dogs to the beach today - they had such a great time.
Sam has returned to Singapore having spent the week in Burma laying the way to move there to work. He is busy learning Burmese! Work is going well and Aberdeen has now gone public and Croydon is more than 40% let so busy but satisfying. MJ is behaving like a dying swan and GA broke her wrist last week but otherwise is fine. Hope to talk to you as soon as you get back in a week or so. Lots of love D xxxxxx

Susie said...

Howdy Jimmy,
Well you have been on THAT beach and the hammock, thought you were supposed to be working??? The photos are magic and you look very happy. Heard it is raining heavily over there dont be jealous but we have had sunshine !!( I know where I would rather be)? Chow for now

oma annemie said...

to emma van ravels alpha 7
Lieve Emma,
Mamma heeft jouw site op onze computer gezet! Nu kan ik zien hoe het met je gaat. Fijn dat je het naar je zin hebt daar ver weg!!
Zag je op een foto met je duikdiploma,heel knap hoor!!
Hier gaat alles goed. Tante Hanneke en oom Edward zijn net geweest en hebben voor opa vissen in een aquarium meegenomen. Met een lampje erin zodat opa snachts lekker naar de visjes kan kijken.,
Lieve schat, heel veel plezier nog en ik zal later nog een keer een briefje schrijven aan jou!!
Oma is trots op je, wat je allemaal doet daar!!
Dikke kus ook van opa!! xxx oma

Caroline said...

Hello Asher! (Alpha 6)

I have been thinking of you lots and trying with difficulty to imagine where you are and what you are doing.I keep on checking for Raleigh updates and they have been few and, so far, about other groups. We are waiting for news of Alpha Six's exploits. We celebrated Dad's birthday on Tuesday - I had arranged a surprise birthday meal at a restaurant in Belsize Park, with Jean-Marc, Michael, Diana and Francis, and Lara turned up from Cambridge. It was lovely, warm, suitably low-key and you were missed. Harry has been off uni with glandular fever but is beginning to feel much better.He says hi. Matt spent an hour here giving me info re Nottingham accommodation and chatting about his visit to the Open Day. Apparently you can only choose room type - not hall. So I shall probably opt on your behalf for a single study (like Matt) so your name will already be on the list.We are off to Morocco on Friday and will probably be there when you are back at field base - I hope you get through to us on one of the mobiles! Sending you so much love and hoping that there is lots of fun and laughter as well as hard work. Mum xxx

Anonymous said...

Dear Corin, you're really so amazing in the pictures :) Do take care of yourself there. Please upload more pictures of Corinth. With that I know how the situation She's in there. I really miss her :'( I'm so missing that girl! Post by, the BOYFRIEND.

caroline van ravels said...

to emma van ravels alpha 7
Ha die Empie,
Al meteen een verhaal over jouw alphagroep over het duiken!! Heerlijk om een bericht over jullie groep te lezen. Gefeliciteerd met je padi!! Knap hoor!! Nu ik dit schrijf, zit jij ergens in de jungle! Hoop dat je beter weer hebt dan de afgelopen weken!! Wij zijn weer thuis van het skiën en iedereen is inmiddels weer terug naar Groningen, Rotterdam en Amsterdam. Wel heeel stil ineens hier in huis!! We hebben een heerlijke week gehad met verse sneeuw aan het begin en daarna volop zon!! We zijn 1 avond gaan curlen in een grote sporthal. Kregen daar les van een onogelijk klein frans vrouwtje die in rap frans de spelregels begon uit te leggen. Daarna moesten we oefenen met glijden en proberen een soort zware fluitketel zo precies mogelijk in een circel te laten schuiven. We hebben heel wat afgelachen en gevallen!! Toen een heuze wedstrijd gedaan met zo'n bezempje vegen om het ijs gladder te maken. Uit de enthousiaste reacties van onze juf, deden we het volgens mij nog best goed!! Allemaal een blauwe knie, maar wel veel gelachen!! Daarna nog bij een ijshockey wedstrijd gekeken. Ook leuk!! De laatste dag op de piste vloog de ski van Loek uit , zodat hij op een bügel knalde en zijn schouder uit de kom schoot. Gelukkig gleed hij door het knalde tegen een volgende bügel , zodat zijn schouder er weer in plopte!! spierwit en met veel pijn kwam hij daarna naar beneden geskied!! Gelukkig was dat de laatste dag en bijna de laatste afdaling. Nu een paar dagen later gaat het al beter met zijn schouder.
Net Doub weer opgehaald uit de kennel. Lekker schoongewassen ligt ze nu voor pampes in haar mand. Verder heb ik niet veel nieuws. Met de opa's en oma gaat het goed. Oma Annemie heeft jou een berichtje gestuurd, maar ik heb het nog niet terug gezien op de blog. Als dat niet meer komt, zal ik het samen met haar nog een keer proberen.
Lieve Empie , tot bels maar weer !!
Ik hoop dat je mijn brief hebt gekregen! Dikke kus, ook van pap, xxxxxxxxxxx mam

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott
I managed to visit the blog
Saw thr pictures. No jokes indeed . Most of your activities look really tough.
Proud of u & take care.

Xoxox may

James Cross said...

Message for Alex Alpha 9

It's your best friend Mario here with princess Peach, missing you quite a lot! Loving the pictures, looks like you're having a great time! Wednesday night as I write this, you know what that means (we broke our no drinking ban) anyway chuck Norris is doing well as is big Vick! Hope you're well and not missing FaceTime too much. Love you mate! X