Tuesday, October 16, 2012

16/10/12 Update from Curieuse Island

The treks up to the Coco der Mers, which at first seemed exceptionally challenging are becoming slightly easier and once at the top our days have proven to be very successful.  Last week after scrambling through coco plum bushes and avoiding surfing down the hill on dead palm leaves, we managed to record 56 trees including some impressive sized females with maturing nuts.
We spent an indulgent and relaxing weekend bike riding and sipping drinks by the pool on the beautiful island of La Digue. Jamie joined us on Saturday afternoon after an awe inspiring dive where she was lucky enough to see a small shark, countless beautiful fish and 3 gorgeous hawksbills. Safe to say the rest of us were all a tad jealous of that!   
Back to work on Monday and what an incredible start to the week it was!  Five of us hiked to Grand Anse to spend the day doing beach patrols. After having already spotted 3 sets of Hawksbill tracks and laid nests, Carol then stumbled upon a Green turtle hatchling straggler! We managed to find the nest about 2 meters away and after digging about 70 cm down to the egg chamber found 3 more stragglers. The others raced to the beach from the mangroves and we all watched proudly, and with exceptionally girly squeals of excitement, as our little greens scampered down the beach to their new home in the sea. The hard work is definitely worth it when that is the reward.
A few of us had ‘mountain goat training’ with the ever energetic Esme as we scrambled through mangrove roots and over boulders to reach Anse Mandarin where we recorded a Hawksbill nest that had been spotted from the sea the day before.
Today after completing the long and short turtle walks, having had success on the short one, we were rewarded for our efforts with a lovely snorkel around Anse Papaie where we saw coral fish of all varieties, a placid male Hawksbill and a juvenile Green, what amazing luck!