Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30/11/10 Terrestrial Update

This week on Curieuse we were lucky enough to be joined by Jax and Emily from the Cap Ternay base. The terrestrial team gave both of these girls a glimpse into the life of a terrestrial expedition volunteer. We tought them everything from how to use a clinometer for the coco de mere survey to indetifying turtle tracks on the beaches of Anse Papai and Grande Anse. Jax, who will be starting work on Curieuse next phase, saw just how hard some of the walks can be and is looking forward to coming back in January.

The purpose of Jax and Emily’s visit was not only to spend some time on the expeditions but to also teach the 5 weekers about Emergency First Response. We learned how to identify ourselves to people in need of help, put on barriers (very important), and to provide Primary and Secondary care. After watching 2 videos, various role-playing, one knowledge review and one test we can happily say that we are all certified as emergency responders. This course may seem trivial if living in a big city with medical facilities nearby but when you’re living on a deserted island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, these skills come in handy. With all of the illnessess and injuries on Curieuse this week, I’m sure some of us will be able to put our Emergency First Responder skills to good use! Thanks for your help Jax and Ems!

The terrestrial team had a few firsts this week. It was the first time we saw a tortoise in the wild. The baby tortoise was found while we were doing our coco de mere survey. We noticed that wild tortoises have a slightly different disposition than those found at the ranger station. Since this poor tortoise had probably never seen a human being before, he/she was quite frightened when we approached it. Generally, the tortoises at the ranger station are thrilled to see us and follow us around as we perform the census. Another first was our sighting of five hawksbill turtles during one turtle snorkel. We followed each of them for a short period of time watching them eat, come up for air, swim along and even poop. Fingers crossed our last 2 weeks on Curieuse will be filled with many more wild tortoise and turle sightings!