Thursday, November 3, 2011

02/11/11 Aride & Isle de Cors

The Curieuse volunteers have recently spread their wings, in order to explore the far reaches of the Seychelles. The first, of two wonderful excursions, was a trip to Aride. The island is a nature reserve managed by the Island Conservation Society and is an important bird sanctuary with thousands of nesting birds including the Sooty and Fairy Terns, Noddies, Seychelles Warbler and our favourite, the White-Tailed Tropicbird whose chick literally resembles a ball of fluff! Landing on the island is quite an experience. The island staff meet every boat at sea and transfer the visitors to the beach - by driving full speed at shore and not stopping the engine until the boat is fully beached. This is (apparently) the only way to get through the gigantic swell! Whilst on the island, we were taken on a tour which included a history of the reserve, bird and reptile identification, and of course a fantastic view of our own beautiful Curieuse.

The second trip was to Isle de Cors via a very fast speed boat (and sporting a “007” logo complete with pistol as the 7 on the bow). Here we were able to snorkel in the crystal clear waters and observe a wide variety of multi coloured fish, lemon sharks and corals. Not even pruning hands could keep us from exploring a new underwater world! Being joined by a teenage Hawks Bill as we swam through the shallows may have had something to do with that.

Speaking of Turtles… an expectant Hawksbill mother arrived on our door step today seeking a suitable nesting site for her young. Despite the many turtles we have recorded and observed over the past 4 weeks, the excitement and awe never fades. These magnificent creatures are a pleasure to behold and it reminds us of how privileged we are, to be a part of their conservation.

Only one more week of Curieuse life to enjoy and we are definitely going to savour every moment of it.

Juvenile tropic bird chic (top), parrotfish above.