Tuesday, November 15, 2011

12/11/11 Going through a Curieuse Phase!

We’d all had different expectations before coming out here. I think we’d tried not to think too much about it, for fear of being disappointed. We needn’t have worried. Our first view of the camp from the Flying Dutchman (the staff’s little boat) could have come straight out of Robinson Crusoe. Serene turquoise water lapped at the softest sand you have ever seen, behind which a lush tropical rainforest sheltered the GVI Curieuse base.

We have been on the base for 5 days now. In that time we have learned how to recognise turtle tracks, turtle survey techniques, peeled cinnamon bark, chopped down a tree and opened coconuts with a machete. We have been around the island by boat and visited the giant tortoise sanctuary. We have also broken three records! We whooped the previous Coco de Mer survey by recording vital statistics for a massive 88 trees and recorded 19 turtle activities in one walk. Being our first expeditions in sweltering heat, these marvellous achievements nearly broke us as well!

The most exciting record we broke, however, was witnessing the nesting of two Hawksbill turtles together within a few meters of each other – on only our second turtle surveying day! We felt truly privileged to be so near to these amazing creatures while they were so vulnerable.

I think it’s safe to say that the few days we’ve spent on this island, we’ve all become a lot closer to nature. Granted, sometimes this is because nature bites our butts and invades our beds, but mostly it’s due to having seen so much that we would never normally get to experience. Even bat sex now cannot keep us awake!