Fun at Duikvaker 2017

CoralGardening was present once again on Duikvaker, the single largest diving congress in the Netherlands. Frank did presentations on coral reefs and on our work in restoring and protecting them. We had another exciting traditional CoralGardening workshop/contest for Kids and the popular vote ended the 1st of March.

Opperste concentratie bij ontwerpen van een kunstmatig rif.
Concentration is required when your designing artificial reefs.

Marcel van den Berg was present on Saturday. Marcel has been a great partner of CoralGardening from our very start. During a short presentation he discussed his own reasons and considerations to work with CoralGardening. Marcel works at Sairee Cottage Diving on Koh Tao and is one of the organizers of Eco Day. This is a monthly day that revolves around Koh Tao’s underwater nature and includes readings and activities such as beach and reef cleanups, but also building on the CoralGarden.

Marcel geeft uitleg wat hij zo belangrijk vind aan het werk van CoralGardening.
Marcel explains his motivations for supporting CoralGardening.

Marcel was again present at CoralGardening’s stand on Sunday, now accompanied by Marcel Coret from KevMic-Diving. You may remember KevMic-Diving as one of the sponsors who donated valuable diving equipment to our foundation. Marcel Coret visited us at the end of last year with his friends Mies and Ruud and brought a bag full of tools and equipment to Koh Tao. They also build on a flower and even helped us put that first one in the water! At this Duikvaker Marcel was again a Sponsor in the Spotlights.

Marcel wordt in het zonnetje gezet voor zijn sponsoring.
Marcel in the spotlights.

Yvon from SUP-school Domstad was also present at Duikvaker to hand CoralGardening a cheque. The donation was collected from her clients during and after her Stand Up Paddle-lessons to CoralGardening. By cleaning litter from canals clients can get a discount on the lessons, but most of them immediately donated these savings to charity. CoralGardening was the beneficiary  this season. What a beautiful way to support our environment twice in one go. Thank you, SUP-school Domstad.

Yvon van SUP-school Domstad overhandigde een donatie die bij elkaar werd gespaard door zwerfafval uit de Utrechtse grachten te vissen.
Yvon from SUP-school Domstad handing over the donations made by removing litter from Utrecht’s canals.

Besides all these exciting meetings, we were also able to share our recent experiences, including the planting of the first flower in the CoralGarden in November 2016. Just like at previous Duikvaker events, children could participate in a friendly creative contest to design a fish and critter friendly artificial reef. Again the contest resulted in fantastic and beutiful ceramic creations that help us define the future CoralGardens. Of course, a contest is not a contest if we do not declare a winner…

Some of the works of art.

The winner of the popular vote is Mara Brandse. Congratulations Mara! A unique Ocean Sole turtle is headed your way.

Our skilled jury praised the work of Fay Hoek. Gefeliciteerd Fay! You will receive a handmade ceramic Jij ontvangt een handgemaakt keramiek pendant.

Finally we want to congratulate Ayla Crozier and Chris van der Voet. Both of you have delivered incredible work, but came in a solid second place in the contest. Both of you will receive a small token to remind you of what you can and have achieved.

To all participants of the CoralGardening workshop: thank you for joining! We really hope to see you again next year with just as much enthousiasm and maybe even more unique, creative and beautiful ideas!

Prijswinnaars workshop KoraalTuinieren Duikvaker.
Winners of the CoralGardening workshop Duikvaker 2017.

As you can see, Duikvaker 2017 was a huge success. Not only have we met many new and old friends, we have returned to Koh Tao with some fresh excitement and encouragement to continue our work. We look forward to seeing you (again) next year!

A short impression of Duikvaker.

Participants enjoying the workshop CoralGardening.