Monday, November 10, 2008

Hard work pays off.

A second group spent the week on Curieuse this week. Turtle beach walks were the main focus of the work again. On the very first beach they walked they saw a Hawksbill turtle pull itself out of the water, up the beach, and nest at the top. All were elated to witness this, and it was the first time any of them had seen a turtle nest.

Hayley counted the eggs as they dropped into the nest – 150 in total! No other actual nesting events occurred during the rest of the walks, but loads of tracks and nests were seen, and lots of data was collected on their size and location and the type of turtle that created them. The group also saw Lemon sharks and Dolphins around the Island.

The last couple of weeks have been mega fauna madness; Baie Ternay is alive with a whole variety of large creatures! We have finally sighted Whale Sharks in the bay, 6 were seen near the Lighthouse on Wednesday, and 2 more were seen in the same area on Thursday. All the staff and volunteers on base have been lucky enough to snorkel with them at least once, so there’s been big smiles worn by all. As if swimming with Whale Sharks wasn’t enough, dolphins were seen by 3 groups of divers on Thursday, and for many this was the first time they had seen them underwater.

This week has seen the launch of true surveying, 5 of our sites are now open. Mock surveys are still continuing while some of the volunteers fine-tune their skills, but many are now fully fledged and surveying without the help of the staff.