Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 44 – ‘Mad’ about to Clean House

Date: 8/13/12
Location: Costa de Oro, Costa Rica

Word of the day: Jefe - Boss
Turtle Fact:  Some aquatic turtles can absorb oxygen through the skin on their neck and cloacal areas allowing them to remain submerged underwater for extended periods of time and enabling them to hibernate underwater

6am wake up. Run North. I found a poached nest in Sector #2. Run South.

PLOT THICKENS: As I came across the poached nest at the beach I look over everything, hole, surround foot prints, location, if anything was disturbed and tracks. Well I follow the tracks down to the water, where you can tell the tide was at the time the turtle came on the beach (as the tide is currently going out, and thus exposing more of the beach). Noting the distance between the end of the track (entrance of the water) and where the current water line was, I would guess the turtle came up around 5am. Well just near the end of the tracks I notice a little picture of a "turtle" with the words Pretoma. This artwork was mostly done by the very same poacher that stole our nest - just rubbing it in our face. Had I had bike... this would not have happened.

Breakfast. Of coarse everyone was still sleeping, so I prepared a special breakfast as this morning the English Girls (Laura & Kirsty) where leaving to head back across the pond and Courtney heads back to San Miguel for a week (as Maddie takes her place for a bit). So I made Banana Pancakes from scratch. They turned out great (thank you teaspoon of vanilla extract).

My morning project was to finish preparing the plot numbers for the hatchery. Essentially I was to find large pieces of bamboo (driftwood) and cut them by hand into sizeable pieces for the hatchery. Matt would finish this up, by washing them down, drawing/painting on a number and placing it in the hatchery – great teamwork.

Lunch. Maddie arrives at the casa de Costa de Oro. We welcome her by making her quesadilla (Don’t worry Courtney we will replace your cheese). She will be with us for the next week or so. Both of these ladies (Research Coordinator – Matt and myself bosses) share responsibility for both Costa de Oro and San Miguel. However, I have a feeling one will be more focused on a certain beach than the other.

I continue to find bamboo. It’s HOT in the midday sun and we have exhausted all the local driftwood bamboo. Each time I search for more, I find myself walking greater distances on the beach… not too fun when the sand is hot, and the pieces are HEAVEY (and some covered with ants). Siesta. Updates to HelpingTurtles

Dinner. Matt, Maddie, Wilson and I bond over some veggy based dinner. Well sorta veggy. Last week when received our food supply, we received a whole chicken, which the English cook (wonderfully). With the left over parts (neck, gizzards, bones and misc) I made a broth/stock.  This was the first time I had actually done this. In the past I had always used bullion cubes. However, we do not have that luxury and must be like native “americans” and everything from the animal – which I am all for. ANYWHO, I used this broth (which I froze for a week) to make the rice, instead of using water. It was AWESOME. I plan on doing this more often.

DID YOU KNOW: The terminology stock and broth can be confusing, but most good cooks agree stock is better than broth. The US Department of Agriculture, for its purposes, uses the words interchangeably and does not define them as being different. A few culinary schools teach that stocks are made from bones and broth is made from meat, but there is no outside authority to support this definition.

Patrol. Since there is a small odd number of us (Maddie, Matt and I) we decided on only doing 1 shift, with all of us. We were supposed to get some help from one of the locals, but he was a no show. Regardless we start patrolling the beach at 9pm. There was a thunderstorm all around us, but not over us. This made for a great light show, and easily lit up the beach every 3 secs. This continues for most of the night. During our patrol we found 5 Tracks, 3 nests and 2 turtles and a total of 339 eggs and no poached nests. SUCCESS. Sleep. 2:30am

  • 1 is the loneliest number
  • Anytime you see birds on the beach, there is a good chance there is something dead washed up.
  • Sleeping without a blanket can be done for those who are used to be covered and weighed down in blankets.

Food:  Chicken, Lemon Rice, Squash, Cucumber Salad, Banana Pancakes
Animals: Turtle, Dog, Crabs, Ants, and Mosquitos

Something I am thankful for: Change. Imagine the weather is ALWAYS the same. Or the food you ate was the same each day. Because of chaos and future uncertainties, everything is always changing – which interests me and keeps me looking forward to what’s next.
Something I don't want to admit: I have not had my own red light since arriving to Costa Rica. I have been borrowing and using co-workers. No worries this trend will not keep occurring as my Mommy is bringing me the goods soon!

Days of Rain: 26/40
Total Turtle Eggs I have saved: 1,449

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