James Clarke 6th July – 1st November 2015, Northern Ireland

From my experience, volunteering with CBMWC is the best possible way to spend a summer (and the beginning of autumn).

I arrived into the CBMWC family from Northern Ireland with a little bit of knowledge of the area and the centre from childhood holidays, but overall didn’t know what to expect. I needn’t have worried, I was welcomed into the crew from the very first day. You can’t beat days sitting on the harbour wall in New Quay in the blazing sunshine, (it’s true, believe me), and watching a large group of dolphins leaping around you. Then there were days spent on boat trips and watching the dolphins, porpoises and seals, as well as all of the rest of the wildlife, research just doesn’t get much better than this!

Then after a hard day’s work I got to spend the evening with my new mates all of whom shared the same passion as me. I look back fondly on the movie nights we had in the volunteer houses as well as the nights we put our fingers on the beating pulse of New Quay and met the locals, immersing ourselves in the community. On days off I was never a fan of relaxation and opted mostly to explore the beautiful and buzzing Welsh coastline and countryside, my motto was: if I knew where I was, I wasn’t having a successful day off. From the lush valleys to the fresh, rolling rivers to the vibrant coastline, I got lost around them all!

So there you go; dolphins, socialising and an obvious lack of any sense of direction, my memories of my time in New Quay. The only regret I had from my time with CBMWC was that I didn’t stay for longer. Thanks CBMWC, thanks New Quay and thank you guys, it was a pleasure.