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JOIN REEF BUDDY,
MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Our program is designed to provide you with the complete training to take an active part in our ongoing marine & coral reef conservation projects. No prior experience is required. All we ask is that you are 18 years or older, have an interest in marine conservation, and are physically fit for scuba diving. We will provide all training, materials & equipment.

VOLUNTEER PROGRAM OVERVIEW

For more useful information refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Caribbean Reef Buddy Program Overview

Travel to the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea to work on critical marine conservation projects around the beautiful island of the Carriacou.
You will contribute towards various conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to the local government on coral reef research, fish, and invertebrate surveys, assist with the development of an environmental education and awareness program, monitor sharks, assess diver impacts, as well as marine plastic pollution clean-ups and surveys.

You will spend the majority of your time on this program scuba diving, and so we will need to ensure you’re certified to at least PADI Advanced Open Water or SSI Advanced Adventure diver standard before we can let you loose on the reefs. If required, training to this level is provided via our partners on island in the first week of the program.

To join the Caribbean Reef Buddy volunteer program, you should:
Be at least 18 years old
Have completed a RSTC Medical Statement (download here) and get advice from your physician if you have any concerns
Have an interest in Marine Ecology and a willingness to learn about marine life and study methods.

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PROGRAM ACTIVITIES & TIMETABLE

Volunteer Program Activities & Timetable

Our program of activity is on a rolling schedule over eight weeks, ensuring that we all can be involved with all of the project workstreams here in Carriacou. During week one of the program we will provide you with initial dive training to Advanced Adventure Diver level, and in week five we’ll provide training in emergency first aid and rescue techniques. If you’re already Advanced Adventure/Advanced Open Water certified, then you can join us at any point in the program and stay for as long as you can support.

Our program re-starts on the 3rd May 2020 with our first ‘Diver Training Week’. We shall then repeat diver training week every 4 weeks throughout the summer. Below is our schedule for the season.

If you are a new diver or below Advanced level, you must arrive in time to participate in Dive Training Week.

If you have any questions about scheduling and arrival times, please contact us.

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Week StartingPrimary ActivityWeek StartingPrimary Activity
03-MayDive Training Week12-JulLionfish Containment
10-MayMacro Invert. Study 19-JulReef Monitoring
17-MayLionfish Containment 26-JulDive Training Week
24-MayReef Monitoring02-AugCoral Restoration
31-MayDive Training Week09-AugShark Monitoring
07-JunCoral Restoration16-AugLionfish Containment
14-JunShark Monitoring23-AugDive Training Week
21-JunLionfish Containment30-AugMacro Invert. Study
28-JunDive Training Week06-SepLionfish Containment
05-JulMacro Invert. Study
13-SepReef Monitoring

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
& NOTES

What's Included

Accommodation - Training - Trips & Excursions

Accommodation: All of our participants are provided shared accommodation at a local hotel in Hillsborough. The accommodation is comfortable, and close to all the local amenities too. Laundry services are available onsite, as is WiFi. You’ll be provided with a hearty breakfast and evening meal each day too (but please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements e.g. vegetarian/vegan etc)

Training: All of your diving course materials will be provided to you in advance of your arrival on Carriacou. Whilst you are here all of the training for the projects will be provided to you by our team, you’ll also have access to all the materials you’ll possibly need too. Full basic SCUBA diving equipment will be provided too, but for comfort you might want to bring your own mask, fins and booties.

Trips & Excursions: At least once a week, we like to arrange a non-project related trip or excursion as a way of breaking up the program and getting you to see more of the island and the Grenadines. These are all included too. Drinking water is provided on all trips, and a shared cool box is available if you want to bring your own drinks & snacks. 

What's Not Included

Please note you will need to budget for the following:

Airfares
Visas
Transfers to Carriacou
Medical insurance
Travel insurance
Dive insurance
Lunch meal
Bus fares
Dive Medical*

Excursions that are not part of our monitoring activities or training programs 
(some volunteers wish to island-hop to explore more of the island chain).

*You will be required to complete a Medical Statement prior to commencing any scuba diving course. If a Yes appears to any question on your statement, please consult your doctor and get them to complete the reverse of the form before the start of your program with us.

Our Campus is located on Silver Beach, Carriacou, with the hotel less than 100 yards away. We co-locate with Deefer Diving during the program and utilise all of their facilities to training, diving, and having fun. The Hotel, John’s Unique Resort, has a large central courtyard, which is excellent for relaxing. Life on campus is much like a big family, with Mishca and Tim looking after you when at John’s. Those who have completed their survey and dive training, can look forward to short boat trips to the dive sites every morning 4 to 5 days a week, depending on weather conditions. On other days, participants conduct either marine debris surveys or environmental education sessions with the local community depending on the project needs at the time. Days start early with boat preparations, or training, and are rounded off with an evening debrief, followed by dinner and time to relax, take in the beautiful sunset, and share stories.

Communication: The island has full 4G telephone service via Flow or Digicel. There is also free WiFi service available all over the island. You’ll have no problem with remaining connected to loved ones at home.
Transportation: We’ll provide transportation from either the ferry terminal or the airport when you arrive and when you depart. Hillsborough is a small town, and you’ll be able to make your way on foot easily. The island has a great bus and taxi service for those days when you want to explore the island.
Weather: Carriacou is located 12.5 degrees north of the Equator, so it's tropical all year round. Air temperatures are typically in the low 30s centigrade (85-90F). Whilst the summer is our ‘rainy’ season, it rarely rains for prolonged periods and you can expect plenty of sunshine.

Laptop or tablet (WiFi is available)
Sunscreen - minimum SPF30, reef-safe (please avoid any sun screen that contains oxybenzone or octinoxate). Click here for more information.
Sunglasses
Beach towel or sarong
Hat, bandana or baseball cap
Bathing suits, bikinis, swim shorts etc
Light, short-sleeved shirts or tank tops
Light, long sleeved top
Shorts & T-shirts
Sandals or flip flops
Water bottle
Watch with alarm (waterproof up to 100 m) or dive computer
Proof of dive qualifications and Dive logbook (if available)
Rash vest
Camera (waterproof to at least 30m or with an appropriate underwater housing for your camera)
Mosquito repellent
Rain jacket with hood
Hiking boots or walking shoes if you wish to hike in High North Park

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque quis quam in risus pulvinar ultrices eget non sem. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae proin accumsan odio.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque quis quam in risus pulvinar ultrices eget non sem. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae proin accumsan odio.

PROGRAM COSTS & PAYMENTS

Our programs are centred on an eight-week rolling schedule, with dive training taking place in weeks one and five. The time you’re with us will determine the cost of your program. Typical stays are two, four and eight weeks, and the prices for these stays are shown below:

Two Week Program 

GBP £1916.00 / USD $2509.96 

Four Week Program 

GBP £3093.00 / USD $4051.72

Eight Week Program 

GBP £5102.00 / USD $6683.00

Costs are dependent on the duration of your stay. Extra night accommodation on Carriacou is available at GBP £26.75 / USD $35.00 per night- this does not include extra diving and must be booked in advance.

If you’re already ‘Advanced’ certified, costs for a week long program start from as little as $1,205.

All above costs include hotel accommodation (based on a shared rooms) with breakfast and evening meals provided. All dive training, or fun diving in lieu of courses, equipment rental, course fees and manuals are also included as well as project t-shirts and wrist bands. Airfares, transfers to Carriacou, medical/travel insurance and personal expenses are not included. It is compulsory for all volunteers take out travel/medical (including dive) insurance prior to joining the project.

A deposit will be required at the point of booking, with the full balance of your program costs being paid at least 28 days prior to your arrival.

ADDITIONAL TRAINING AVAILABLE

Divemaster course at Caribbean Reef Buddy

Divemaster

Course length depends on your current level of certification - please enquire.

The Eco Divemaster program combines dive professional development courses with our ongoing projects and conservation efforts thus ensuring our students are not just dive professionals but also trained and experienced environmental ambassadors.

Recreational CCR Diver

Recreational CCR Diver

Course length: 5 days

This course is a great option for underwater photographers and marine biologists. As part of this course you will log a minimum of 300 mins of rebreather time in the water. This course will qualify you to dive on the KISS Spirit Rebreather down to a max. depth of 21m /70 ft with no decompression, up to 1.2 PO2.

Recreational Sidemount Diver

Recreational Sidemount Diver

Course length: 3 days

Recreational sidemount is an easy, efficient way of diving with two tanks, giving yourself redundancy and more air to complete tasks, while at the same time improving your buoyancy control.

Self-Reliant Diver

Self-Reliant Diver

Course Length: 2 days

Although most scuba dives are made with a buddy, an experienced diver may want or need to make dives without a partner. During the Self-Reliant Diver course, you learn about potential risks of diving alone and the value of equipment redundancy & necessary back-up gear. During 3 scuba dives, you develop skills for self-reliance & independence, while becoming a stronger partner in a dive pair or team.

Wreck Diver

Wreck Diver

Course length: 3 days

Many wrecks are foundations for artificial reefs, providing shelter to a host of marine life. Learn how to map, and safely explore & penetrate a wreck. This course can be taught as either sidemount or backmount (BCD).

Deep Diver

Deep Diver

Course length: 3 days

Do you have a Depth Wish? Take your dives deeper, and learn how to safely explore beautiful deep dive sites down to depths of up to 40m/130ft.

Digital Underwater Videography

Digital Underwater Videography

Course length: 3 days

There are so many things to see underwater - learn how to capture beautiful footage, tell a story and create videos using popular video editing software. You will get the most out of this course if you have your own underwater camera and laptop.

Enriched Air Nitrox

Enriched Air Nitrox

Course length: 1 day

The Enriched Air Nitrox Diver course will teach you how to safely plan and dive with enriched air mixtures of up to 40% oxygen, allowing you to extend your no decompression limits.

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