Monday, October 1, 2012

29/09/12 Welcome to Curieuse

We all met at the Victoria harbour on Mahe and boarded the Cat Cocos ferry for Praslin. What a crossing...! With the company that we met and the stories that we shared, the one hour trip passed quickly even given the bumpy ride. A quick taxi ride to the Cote d’Or and we boarded Dexter (GVI team Curieuse vessel) for Curieuse Island - our new home.
Curieuse Island is difficult to describe given it’s  complex beauty and the many facets of wonder for us to discover.  On Monday we walked through the Mangroves of Curieuse, clambered over three giant hills and hauled ourselves over boulders to reach the turtle nesting beaches furthest from our camp. On our way we encountered our first Giant Aldabra Tortiose, as well as our first set of Hawksbill tracks, and at the furthest end of the furthest beach (Grande Anse) we discovered a new hawksbill nest!
On Tuesday we hiked past the Mangroves once again, only this time we took a left to make our way up to one of the Coco de Mer survey sites. After scrambling through some dense vegetation we came across our first Coco de Mer family – it was truly exciting! We recorded several juveniles, and witnessed a mature female carrying a healthy nut.  The view was spectacular!
This afternoon we were treated to a snorkel session with the lovely Esme.  We viewed damsel fish, Needle fish and Parrot fish amongst many others. Some of us were also lucky enough to see a ray. We are greatly looking forward to the following weeks here on Curieuse as our host’s, Rachel, April, Esme and as of today Lee are already making our time here truly memorable.