Article and Photos Provided By: Ace Aguilar
Alonissos is a beautiful and tranquil island in the northeast part of Greece that is only accessible by ferry. This past June, I participated in the Northern Aegean Dolphin Research Project at the National Marine Park of Alonissos. I studied the local cetacean species, their behaviour & population, and identification practices by their dorsal fins and photograph comparisons. I saw a sea turtle, striped dolphins, and Cuvier beaked whales and photographed various sea creatures like an eel, fire worm, spiny lobster, and sea anemone. I also learned about the Mediterranean Monk Seal, its behaviour, and its habitats.
When not on the research boat, I free-dived and scuba-dived at the Peristera Ancient Shipwreck from 500 B.C. and the Gorgonian Garden. I enjoyed seven amazing dives with a local dive shop called Sea colours. One of the dives was even at night. The days were warm and in the mid 70’s, but the water was a cool 77 degrees. I was comfortable with my 7 mm wetsuit and no hoodie. I noticed that the Aegean Sea was colder than the other bodies of water I have dove at and had more thermoclines. The visibility was a lot, too, like plus 50 feet!
I’m currently a NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver and have the following certifications: Rescue, Night Diver, Underwater Naturalist, and Nitrox with a total of 48 dives; 39 were in salt water (19 in the Caribbean Sea, two in the Atlantic Ocean, 8 in the Gulf of Mexico, three the Pacific Ocean, and 7 Northern Aegean Sea), 4 in freshwater, 4 in freshwater caves, and one aquarium dive since becoming certified in July 2020. In June of 2023, I will participate in another internship with Go Dive Mossel Bay in South Africa to study the Great White Shark and obtain my master’s diver certificate when I’m I’ll become a dive master and lead dives when I turn 18.
Further, I’ve aspired to become a professional marine biologist since I was six and began diving at age 11. I plan to attend the University of Tampa and hope to discover new marine species while researching sharks and invertebrates worldwide because I think sharks are misunderstood.
Sponsors & sponsorships are welcome for his internships! Scholarships at 15 years old are almost non-existent.
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