Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 40 - Legend of the Machete: Begins

Date: 8/9/12
Location: Costa de Oro, Costa Rica 

Word of the day:  Pintura - Paint
Turtle Fact:   The top shell, the carapace, is made up of approximately 50 bones.

6:30am. HelpingTurtles updates. Breakfast. I took a page from brother’s (Chris) cook book. I made an egg bake early in the morning so it would be ready by the time everyone got up. It was a success – I just wish I had my spice rack here…

This morning all of are being picked up and driven to Coyote (the nearest “largest” town – with 3 restaurants, 2 grocery stores and a hardware store) to help paint a school. When we arrive, it’s clear what our main objective is – removing the old paint (scraping off flakes) and painting the schools cement wall. We would be joined with the research assistants from Caletas (2 males).  If I was to guess there was about 400ft wall that needed to be repainted. We start off by rinsing down the walls. The first wave of people would scrap off the old the paint. Blue paint chips flying everywhere, I couldn’t help to think what color by buggers were going to be later (come on it’s not that gross). Rinse wall. Next, the second wave of people go over the wall with a steal brush and rough up the remaining paint on the wall so that the paint adheres/bonds better. We nearly finished when it was lunch time. The group from Costa de Oro (including myself), headed to a little restaurant for some lunch. Thinking about it, it has been a while since we actually spent our own money – bonus! Afterwards, I headed to the local supermarket and picked up a couple things (BBQ sauce, snacks and Juice). I also stopped at the hardware store and picked myself up a MACHETE! Now I can really blend into Costa Rica. We stop at a mechanic shop on the way to the Pretoma office to get the machete sharpened as well.

Once at the office, we get a ride back and immediately get to work on the Hatchery. I dedicate my time working on the Hatch door.

SIDENOTE: Since being in Costa Rica, there has been so many times when I reference LOST to myself. This would be one of those time. P.S. Did you know that Jurassic Park was filmed on an island off of Costa Rica – dada da da da… (the theme song).
The darkness came quicker than expected and everything was almost finished in the hatchery. We added a second layer of netting (for height), started making lines in the sand (with twine) for the plot outline (where turtle eggs will go) and sectioned off the areas for people to walk on. I was unable to put on the door as I didn’t want to get bit more than I had too. So I left it for tomorrow. Regardless, we deemed this hatchery OPERATIONAL – if we found a nest tonight, it would find itself being the newest resident of the hatchery. Dinner.

Patrol. Kirsty, Nadja and I walk south a little after 8pm. As soon as we start our patrol it starts to rain. In the distant it is thunder storming. The storm actually lights up the beach every 15 secs or so. Fortunately the storm was far enough away (and stayed that distance the whole time) that this lasted the entire walk. As we soon walk on the beach we notice some flashlights down the beach – poachers, not a good start. They walk in our directions and we pass them 3mins later. We continue down the beach another 5mins and see some through the rain. As we follow the tracks up the beach, we notice foots steps alongside the tracks, that was not ours – POACHERS. FML. We take note of the track size, location, tide, and moon and time. We continue with the rest of the patrol without anything else.

Normally I don’t get upset with myself. But I was feeling pretty bad about this one. I mean we walked right by them (most likely eggs in hand, but could not see details because of the rain/darkness). If we had left just a couple minutes sooner… Sleep.

  • The early bird/poacher catches the worm/turtle.
  • It takes a long time to sharpen a machete

Food:  Rice Stir Fry, Elephant Ear (Pan Rico)
Animals: Dogs, Crabs, Ants

Something I am thankful for: “Getting out of the house”. You always hear this term but never really take it to heart. So for the past week or so, we have been at the house in Costa de Oro. Granted we take patrols on the beach and play in the ocean. But we really never leave the house. It’s always the same setting. It was just relieving to see different people, tastes scenery.
Something I don't want to admit: Stupid American. I was talking to Laura about her cooking background and she said mentioned that she had some Italian in her family. At first thought, I thought that this was impossible as she is from England – she is British. Only people in America can be mixed nationalities… Stupid American.

Days of Rain: 22/36 – Heavy Duty Rain.
Total Turtle Eggs I have saved: 730

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