Author Archives: Klara Munnik

Gansbaai/Kleinbaai Magical

After spending most of our time on Slashfin and Whale Whisperer it’s nice to get to experience different views of Kleinbaai and Gansbaai. Going on hikes at De Kelders, where you have views of rocks and get to hear the waves hit against them. Hiking in the milkwood forest where you get to walk through fynbos and listen to all the birds.





No words can describe the African Skies so here are a couple examples of what the volunteers get to wake up to and what they get to see before they go to bed.




Masakane School Visit

Today, four of our volunteers accompanied Marlette and Christoff Longland and Sanchia Chivell to Masakhane Primary School with the goal of teaching students about whales. We stopped into two different third grade classes during their English lesson, hoping to provide some practice for the mainly Xhosa-speaking students. Though there were over 40 students in each classroom, the students were incredibly polite, standing up and addressing us in unison (in English!) as we arrived.

After some introductions were made, Marlette began to tell the story of Wally and Will, two Southern Right Whales making their way along the coast of South Africa. Throughout their journey, Wally and Will saw many interesting land animals and excitedly adopted their characteristics, only to discover that they could no longer be happy whales and breach or spout. The story concludes with Wally and Will shedding their adopted features and realizing they were perfect just the way they were. The students listened with rapt attention and happily participated in the storytelling, tacking on the features of the land animals as the whales adopted them.

We then handed out crayons and outlines of Southern Right Whales, which the students coloured with gusto. Each designed their whale differently; some grabbed the brightest colours they could find, while some patiently waited for the blue and black crayons so they could colour their whales “accurately.”

Amidst a flurry of colouring, we made our exit, leaving behind the crayons, colouring materials, a birthday calendar, and a new appreciation of whales. We promised a return visit and to bring more information about marine life and conservation.

We would like to thank Masakhane Primary School for hosting us, and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust and Volkswagen South Africa for their sponsorship. Without them none of today’s activities would be possible…- Anna, Alex, Connie, and Haley (Marine Volunteer)









Mandela Day

Mandela Day was a day spent with children, the elderly and the less fortunate. A day we just had to take 67 minutes of our time and give back to the world, but the International Marine Volunteers gave an entire day, from collecting clothes to gathering fire wood.


After having their coffee the volunteers started gathering wood and sorting the clothes they have collected.



They then headed towards Blompark, to pay the elderly and the kids a visit. To the elderly the volunteers placed blankets on their beds and donated food they collected. For the kids it was socks, hats, clothes, gloves and of course crayons to make life just a little bit more colourful. Then the volunteers loaded a trailer with wood to give the community a way to cook their food and warm their homes.







This would never have been possible if it wasn’t for the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Dyer Island Cruises and Marine Dynamics. Together we all made a difference in many lives of the community, by just adding a little bit of colour and warmth.





Breaching Trip

Getting up this morning was no problem for the volunteers. They boarded Slashfin at 07:15 with smiles on their faces. Who wouldn’t smile if you were going on a breaching trip, I mean what is better than “flying” sharks. Leaving the harbour the volunteers got to see a proper South African sunrise, and I think it’s safe to say that the African sky is beyond compare.



Approaching Geyser Rock we threw our decoy line into the water and slowly started towing the decoy behind Slashfin. We patiently waited for our first shark, when all of a sudden a Great White flew up into the sky. This was the perfect way of showing the volunteers how strong and fast these sharks are. We headed back towards the harbour with volunteers still in awe. Just a perfect start to shark filled day.






Winter is here

The busy season for IMV is here and we are starting it off with 18 volunteers. What more could you ask for? Winter brings bigger sharks, better visibility, some no sea days and great volunteers. Even with the no sea days we are still keeping these guys busy.

14-DSC_1632 03-DSC_1222 Our community projects are on a roll and improving each day, lectures are being held, just to give them that little extra knowledge and some days when they just want to take it easy, wine tasting and some games at the lodge is always great.




The volunteers have been very lucky lately, going on their very own Exclusive trips, with Marine Dynamics Shark cage diving. Still a couple cold months ahead, but we are looking forward to spending it with these amazing people.






Sea Safety

Huddle position in group

Huddle position in group

Volunteers are really important to us and we know they take chances out there on the water. So we felt like we needed to give them a little extra “something” to take with them out on the water.


Team Building

Team Building

Don a life jacket

Don a life jacket


We started by giving them a safety lecture, which was done by Pieter Du Toit and Klara Munnik. This just gave them more information on where to find the safety equipment on the boat and what to do in case of an emergency. Then we headed to the pool, where Klara did the practical with the volunteers in the. The volunteers learnt how to don a life jacket in a minute’s, what to do in case of a fire, what to do in case of “man overboard” and also what to do when they should abandon ship. Thanks for being a great group of volunteers and we take our hats of to the crew of Sharktasia (the name the volunteers gave the vessel they jumped off of) and Matt Davies, you made a great captain. Who knew safety training could be this fun.


Sam swimming in huddle position

Sam swimming in huddle position

Huddle position in group

Huddle position in group

Ina staying in the huddle position

Ina staying in the huddle position


Creating a home

Do you guys like riddles?

Yeah? Well here’s one for you…

What is white, classy

And brand new


I’ll give you a hint

It’s where you play, eat and sleep

And it is where

The volunteers we keep


Guys check it out.

The roof over your head

Is new and improved

Even with a new bed  


Here is a sneak preview of the new “image” cottages. It has all the best equipment to give you that five star Marine Volunteer experience. Just our way of trying to make you guys feel more comfortable, especially coming home after a long day out at sea or a mind blowing lecture. International Marine Volunteer program is taking another step to insure that future volunteers have a place they can call home.        

Kitchen and Lounge are