Matt Allen 23rd March – 5th July 2015, Republic of Ireland

For my third year of college I was required to go on a work placement. Many of my class headed off to exotic places such as New Zealand and Greece but I had my heart set on a little village in Wales called New Quay.  Having done some research on Cardigan Bay beforehand I knew that it was an incredible diverse and rich location for marine life but after my time there I am truly astounded by the sheer quantity of marine life.

Having seen my first dolphin of the season on day one, Daily the common dolphin, my hopes were soaring for my five planned months with CBMWC. My hopes were not misled as with each passing week the sightings became more frequent and more breath-taking. One of my fondest memories during my time in New Quay was a four hour boat in which there was a pod of ten bottlenose dolphins swimming all around the Anna Lloyd with me sat on the roof whilst Sarah and Steve ran around taking photos of them.

All of the staff at CBMWC and the volunteers were absolutely incredible and became like family during my time there, even if I was the only guy, having all those sisters was brilliant. I miss it already and would love to go back and do another few months of volunteering and hopefully get involved in the photo I.D. taking place. Arriving back in college in September and catching up with all my class mates they were all incredibly jealous of my five months sat on the harbour wall of New Quay watching dolphins for hours on end. Even if they had travelled across the world and I had only hopped across the Irish Sea. The people of New Quay were amazing and I’ll never forget all the volunteers singing our hearts out to The Smiths, There is a Light that Never Goes Out with Sumo at the pub quiz every Thursday night. It is a must!