Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 38 - Boy are my Logs Barking

Date: 8/7/12
Location: Costa de Oro, Costa Rica 

Word of the day:  Martillo - Hammer
Turtle Fact: Males have much longer front flippers than the females. I believe mainly has to do with mating and how the male attaches himself to the back of the female in a “piggy back” style. Thus their flippers are long to wrap over the turtles “shoulders” (top part of the shell) and actually hook their claw (yes sea turtles have a claw) into the female’s skin or shell. 

7am wake up. Breakfast.  Build new road for from beach to hatchery. The plan was this morning to have everyone make 10 trips with the wheel barrel to finally finish adding sand to the hatchery. I think everyone did about 7 trips before it was actually full. Granted there was only 4 of us working on the hatchery, it took us a while to complete the task. Early lunch.

Now that the sand if finally done being added, the next step is to figure out how large we are actually going to have this hatchery be. Courtney creates a scaled down template of the hatchery and comes to the conclusion that it will be 9.5m x 7m. Next is to dig postholes and place those poles in them as the supporting structure for the hatchery fence. We will use the logs cut down yesterday to complete this task. After looking at these posts a second time, I realize that there are many termites underneath the bark of the tree. We certainly can not have this. So next on the agenda is shaving down all 18 (even though we need 22) posts to bare wood. I start the process off with my axe I recall an episode of Dirty Jobs where Rob goes to a lumberyard and someone teaches him how to remove bark from a tree. I lean on this technique for help (and it worked). At this point in time the Tico’s slowly start filtering in to help. Using my awesome sherrads and limited Spanish vocab, I have them help me de-bark the posts. Since this is only one man-axe, I suggest for them to use a machete, shovel and hammer. All of these end up doing the same job.
While we continue to work on this Courtney and some others work on digging the holes (50cm in depth), placing the posts (and aligning them). Once most of these are in they start working on adding the fencing to posts. In order to do this, they dig down a trench 30cm into the ground on the outside of the fence. We do this as a crab deterrent from entering the hatchery.

By now most of us are spent and it’s nearly dinnertime. We had the two girls from England (Kristy and Laura) actually make dinner. They did a fine a job – roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. It’s a relief that others can actually cook!

Our Patrol is immediately after the meal (8pm). The new German volunteer (Nadja) and I head south on the beach. No turtle no tracks. Sleep.

Lesson:
  • Other people in the world can cook
  • Do it right the first time
  • Laziness sets in once, the barriers have been broken
Food:  Roasted Chicken and Mashed Potatoes
Animals: Crabs, Dogs, Scorpion, Termites, Grubs

Something I am thankful for: Sharp tools. I could not imagine working with dull knives/axes and actually completing a project with out loosing a finger or lots of blood.
Something I don't want to admit: I am tired. It’s been a long couple of days, and it’s not over yet.

Days of Rain: 18/32
Total Turtle Eggs I have saved: 730



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