Max Beech in Montserrat

Report by Max Beech
Recipient of a YET Award

First just to say thank you so much again for the very generous grant that the Young Explorers’ Trust gave me, it ensured I would be able to join the expedition to Montserrat, from which I have just returned, having been one of the best moments of my life (so far!)

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I really enjoyed the trip, and having worked hard to complete my first diving qualification in preparation for it, I was able to build on this when I was out there and achieve my PADI Advanced Open Water diving qualification. This was done alongside both land and sea conservation work – through recording which creatures we saw, along with identifying their gender and dimensions. The data has been added to their annual surveying, which once collated back in the UK, will be shown to the Montserrat government, along with recommendations of how to improve the current situation.

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We had the absolute honour of meeting the acting governor of Montserrat, and was able to ask him a range of questions about him and his incredible island. Along with this, we visited the National Volcano Observatory, which gave me a really interesting insight into the science behind ensuring that the people of Montserrat are safe and have peace of mind that any increased Volcanic activity will be monitored sufficiently. Fittingly, on a training trek for our jungle overnight walk, we visited some of the abandoned houses on the outskirts of the old capital, Plymouth. This was certainly one of the highlights, being able to see a place where no-one has stepped foot for 20 years was surreal to say the least.

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