05.30: I wake up to the sound of Samos (the boat captain) and his radio, roll out of bed and get kitted up for our first dive of the day!
06.00: As part-staff / part-volunteer, I join in with the fish and coral monitoring programme; a bit of a learning curve to get all of the species committed to memory! We start the day with a fish belt transect; firstly laying the 30 metre transect tape, and noting down all the fish along it.
08.00: Breakfast of beans and tortillas, expertly prepared by Desi, the on-site chef. Time after breakfast to review any poorly healing wounds from Bacalar Chico Dive Camp, and try to think of new ways of covering them up underwater (to date nothing has managed to last a whole dive).
09.00: Every dive there's a boat marshall on the boat with Samos to watch the surface marker buoys and be in communication with the shore marshall on base, should any emergency arise. It's my turn this morning, and in addition to watching out for the volunteers in the water, this is a good chance for a chat with Samos - learning some random facts about Belize!
11.00: I'm back in the water for another monitoring dive. This time coral bleaching and disease; identifying, measuring and looking at the health of 25 different corals along a transect in buddy pairs. Awesome end to the dive when we saw loads of big ocean triggerfish on the safety stop!
13.00: Lunch at camp.
14.00: PADI rescue diver course; search and rescue skills in the mangroves, followed by lifts and different ways to exit the water with a casualty back at base.
17.00: Time to chill out in my hammock and catch up on some reading.
18.00: Chance to have review any ears or sinuses, and compare insect bites.
18.30: Staff meeting; plan for the following day, and discuss any incidents from the past day.
19.00: My turn to present Weh di gwan? (the plan for the next day) to the volunteers, explaining which dives will go out, and any other scheduled activities. Also an opportunity to amaze with my lack of artistic talent, as demonstrated on the schedule board!
19.30: Dinner is "chicken in sauce", one of Desi's best dishes, with possibly the least imaginative name. Tomato and coriander sauce with veg and chicken, stewed. Very good!
20.30: Quick game of cards before heading to bed.