Tuesday, November 27, 2012

27/11/2012 - A Record Breaking Day in Paradise

Hawksbill heading out of the water

A relatively small team of four set off yesterday for our normal long wurtle to Grand Anse – the most popular turtle nesting beach on Curieuse. Our crew consisted of Victor, Tiff, Reggie and Patrick. We were expecting to see one or two turtles and record three or four nests, as has become normal as we are reaching the peak of the nesting season. What we found when we arrived at Grand Anse was a myriad of tracks. We worked our way down the beach recording tracks, five of them were lays, but we established that it had been at least ten turtles on the beach in the last 24 hours. As we arrived at the end, Tiff was first and called back to the boys that a turtle was present. Long limbed Patrick leaned around the corner and said “it’s not one, Tiff, it’s two”. And thus began our crazy turtle watching day at Grand Anse.
Right after we were finishing recording those two first turtles, Tiff went off on the first beach patrol of the day. Half way down the beach she came across another nesting turtle. She gave the boys a call, and they rushed over to Tiff with the equipment. As Tiff continued the patrol, five minutes later she rang the boys about another sighting, almost in the same place. They had a hard time believing that. To be honest, we had already seen more turtles in one day than any other and we were feeling a bit overwhelmed. Could it continue at the same pace????
It could........

We did actually manage a 20 minute break for lunch. Victor raised his hands to the turtle gods to rest for 20 minutes so he could get some food, and they kindly appeased his needs. As we finished our sandwiches, Patrick headed off on the second turtle patrol of the day, and literally one minute later, a fifth turtle emerged from the ocean at our feet. As we were watching this, Patrick gave us a call about another turtle 100 meters down the beach. Reggie left Victor and Tiff to support Patrick, while they stayed to watch their turtle. Both turtles successfully nested and Patrick was able to continue his patrol.
Five minutes later, another call, and we were off to meet up with Patrick and the seventh turtle of the day. We then decided that the hour was late and it was time to head back home. We donned our packs and headed for base. Only to walk into another turtle, who was strangely appearing to come down from the mountains. She wondered around a lot and eventually decided to nest in the middle of the path; not very far from we were hiding.  It was getting close to five o’clock so Reggie, Victor and Tiff left Patrick to check Anse Papaie. As we were heading to the ranger station to get picked up as it was getting late and we had no water.  The phone rang . As Patrick was leaving to join us, a ninth turtle was cutting off his path. He was convinced to leave the recording for the next day as it was time for the elated yet hungry crew, to go home.

In total we recorded the activity of twenty turtles, including twelve nests and nine sightings of turtles.
What a record breaking day!!!!

Day Gecko



Anonymous said...

Best day ever!!!