Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 17 - Posted

Date: 7/17/12

Location: Playa San Miguel, Maderas, Costa Rica

Word of the day: Estero – Estuary (inlet, creek river mouth, source)
Turtle Fact: Turtles can mate for up to 8 hours.

6:55am Alarm. We make a little bit of breakfast using powdered milk, water and cereal. Courtney, Matt and I head to Costa de Oro (my beach/project I will be stationed at for the majority of the time). We walk south down the beach 1km and cross the estuary. At this point in time it’s just about low tide, so it is very easy to cross, maybe 2ft deep in the deepest part. Our goal for the morning was to check out the 100m markers on the beach of Costa de Oro. This beach is supposed to be 4.5 km long (45 posts). In comparison, the beach in San Miguel is 2.5km long.

As we approach the first portion of the beach, just after the estuary, we notice there is no #1 post. (Great start). However it can be easily be noted that the beginning is the estuary. As we mark off the next  (#2) marker using a 30m tape measure, we notice that something is just not right. The space looks far too small. Looking down at the tape measure, we see that it actually starts at 18m and goes to 30m. Weird, but we will work with it. After getting the correct measurement, and placement, we look into the vegetation and notice a #2 post – it looks like our job just got a little easier. Or so we thought. We walk down the beach, and notice there was a #3, 4. But then it was missing a #5,6, and 7. As we continue walking we see another set of numbers that are being measured out at different intervals. At this point we abandon marking off the sectors, as we would need to find out what we should do and why there is a second string of markers.
You know that feeling of seeing your front yard covered in snow, as you step outside for the first time and notice the snow banks are up to your driver door… and you have to shovel it all? Well that’s what it was like for me, but I am excited as there is so much work to be done and there will be such a difference in the area after it’s all said and done (clean the beach of trash and drift wood, build a hatchery, set up marker posts, get the community involved, have beachfront properties change out their outdoor white light bulbs for yellow, and create an routine experience for volunteers/tourists that join us on our walks)

After stopping to speaking to a local expat (expatriate) we head back. We arrive with a half an hour left before lunch. 4 days of the week we head to an individuals house for lunch and dinner. The other 3 days of the week we have lunch and dinner at the Flying Scorpion. This place is a restaurant as well as hotel (recommended place to stay if you should visit). Breakfasts are provided by Pretoma at the house. As the story goes the individuals house (Albero) and the chef (Crizzly) used to work and cook for the Flying Scorpion many moons ago.

After lunch I trade Matt surfing the Internet for surfing the waves (I gave him my computer and I used his board). After a while of playing in the waves I retire the board and head down to the estuary with the girls. Just before the start of low tide. Once we get down there, I teach everyone how to “dig holes” with your feet it shallow water (basically by stopping your feet in shallow water). A couple minutes later the girls bring this large bamboo stick (about 10ft in length) down to the waiting large waiting pool we are sitting in. After putting 1+1 together I had an amazing idea: why don’t I put fix the large bamboo pole, in my hole and make it stand straight up. Now at this point there are some obvious uses for the pole, which I may or may not have implied – however being the genius I am, I change the idea into a TIKI BAR! Seven pieces of large drift wood and some random rope rope later, we have ourselves a free standing bar/counter. At this point the water is starting to recede (low tide) back into the ocean and the waiting pool is slowly draining. It looks like it time to head back as our pool is being drained by mother nature.

On our way back, we watch for the dogs (Ready and Captain) dig into crab holes, pick the crabs out with their mouths, chase them around and then tear of their legs one by one until they are not amusing any more. I must say this is a very amusing site and I will have to get this recorded in the near future.

I update HT (HelpingTurtles) for a little and then prepare for dinner. Eat. Siesta. Patrol.

We had late night patrol tonight with Courtney and Matt. We headed north on the beach. Unfortunately we did not see any turtles nor any tracks. Well other than a set of tracks that someone made (human - most likely poacher). Sleep.

Lesson:
  • It’s easy to build structures in the sand, in a couple feet of water.
  • Washed up trash (rope) can be useful.
  • Crocodiles live in our area and can be found in the estuaries

Food:  Watermelon Gum
Animals: Sting Ray, Crabs (congrejo)

Something I am thankful for: Have been around so many animals in my life, and never (knock on wood) have had a major injury due to them attacking me.
Something I don't want to admit: I stopped my first surfing session today because I stepped on a stingray and for freaked out. Luckily I did not get stung.

*REFERENCE
     1km = 0.621371 Miles
     3km = 1.864114 Miles
     5km = 3.106856 Miles

Days of Rain: 7/14
Total Turtle Eggs I have saved: 258


Our Common Area and Kitchen

Today's view of the beach

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