The first day of the project usually starts with a briefing of the participants: you try out the snorkel equipment, get background knowledge about the project and its aims as well as the scientific work behind it. The practical work starts on the second day. “After breakfast you get a lunch packet for the day in the nearby restaurant. The whole team then meets at the port, stores the equipment and all necessary utensils safely on the boat, the so-called Dhoni, and goes on deck. Once the boat takes off, you start to look out for whale sharks – but also for other marine animals like rays, sharks, dolphins, turtles, or whales.” As soon as someone spotted a whale shark, all team members go in the water and take ID shots of the animal. Other data like wind speed, current, water temperature, visibility in the water, and location of the sighting are also gathered. You not only collect information about the animals themselves but also about passing boats. In order to calculate the financial value of a whale shark for the region and this way to contribute to the support of its protection, you record information like amount, type, and passenger number of the boats. The team goes back onshore in the early afternoon, has a short break, and deals with uploading and comparing the data in the system until dinner. The project pauses two days a week and the volunteers have the opportunity to discover the island on a hiking tour, to go snorkeling and scuba diving or to simply relax at the beach – which was actually just voted no. 34 in the world’s best beaches.