Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 45 – Busy Busy Bees

Date: 8/14/12
Location: Costa de Oro, Costa Rica 

Word of the day: yema de huevo –Egg Yolk
Turtle Fact:  When the females lay their eggs sometimes Small, yolkless eggs are laid alongside the viable eggs. They are believed to act as spacers that allow air to circulate in the nest. Others scientist believes it is to save the other eggs from being eaten, as the predators would fill themselves up with the “dummy” egg. Not to much information are known about why these eggs are produced.

7am Wake up. Run. I end up finding 2 poached nests right next to each other in section #4.  There were literately 10ft apart from each other – do you think they could have been sisters born in this very same area, from the same nest 12+ years ago? These turtles must have came up the beach around 5am as the beach revealed most of their tracks. These nest where taken by a poacher on a motorized vehicle. This can be easily seen by the tire tracks and the clear path they took directly to the nest. A little farther down in sector 2, I notice a new track right on top of the track we has last night (and nest we saved). Well the bike tracks definitely followed the turtle tracks up the beach but did not bother to poke around as this person could tell someone else has already taken the eggs (us/Pretoma). So they continues on his way… What this person did not realize is that there was 3 individual tracks (1 going up and 2 going down) close to each other that could have been easily mistaken for one set of tracks. GREAT SUCCESS – I find the nest with 91 eggs.
(To check out where in relation all these events are happening in which sector, go to the following link: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=462778167077238&set=pb.408545785833810.0.1345073161&type=3&theater )

Once I get back to the house, I put the eggs in the hatchery, wash out the egg bags from this morning and last night, and begin breakfast – French toast. Eat. Relax.

Lunch.  Maddie make us Hummus. Since we are running low on food (food shipment comes in a couple days) we have to adapt and get creative with the canned food, and remaining produce we have left. She also makes a cornbased pita for dipping. Great job!

The afternoon is filled with random, chores: gathering mangos from a neighbor/ing tree, update hatchery charts, hatchery tags, clearing pathways, and making coconut milk. Before you know it’s dinner time. Eat. Siesta

Matt and I patrol at 10:30pm we start off by walking north. We immediately find 2 nests that have been poached. The Poacher left a stick where the nest would have been to identify he was there – his new nickname: The Stickler. On our way back from the north we come across one turtle that just started digging her nest and boy did she take her time during the whole process. 91 Eggs Saved. Matt and I were not happy with the amount of turtles we saw and thought that this night had more potential so we decided to patrol again. So as I put the eggs in the hatchery, Matt does a quick patrol to the south. DINGDING – not even 1 sector away he finds a nest. 83 eggs saved. 2am Siesta.

3:30am Patrol. It’s raining now pretty steadily. We walk all the way down to the north and come across a turtle already laying her eggs.  We rush to tag her, before she starts covering up her eggs. Success. However, by the time we do this, she has already started covered her eggs. While Matt waiting with this turtle I continue to patrol the little stretch of North left. I end up finding 2 more nests. 69 and 80 eggs saved. When I walk back I find Matt digging around the nesting area. The old broad tricked us to where the nest was. We begin excavating the area determined to find the nest. Thirty minutes later, and nearly 2 yards of sand relocated we found them. 93 Eggs saved. At this point in time the sun was already rising (5:30am) and we head back to give the house, put the eggs in the hatchery and give the south side one good sweep. I come across a poached nest in the south due to someone on a bike that had passed us earlier that morning. I end up seeing him again (with satchel of eggs on his handle bars) as I walk passed the house… thanks – just rub it in my face pal. I need a bike!

The next day starts…

P.s. The name of this post is because in 1 week, there has been several 8+ nest of freaky wasps (different than I am used to) that built a sizable home underneith the overhangngs on our house.

Lesson:
  • Bikes are faster than walking
  • When you have a feeling go for it
  • Water and phones do not mix, even with an Otter Box

Food:  Hummus
Animals: Turtle, Dogs, Crabs, Birds

Something I am thankful for: Determination: Had we called it quits for those eggs after 10 mins, of looking around there still might be eggs for a poacher to steal. In a group setting this quality can be amplified due to the energy everyone brings.  At the same time, being solo, one tries to prove their worth.
Something I don't want to admit: I have not taken a real shower in over a week. Tonight that ends. What, doesn’t exfoliating in the ocean count as a salt bath??

Days of Rain: 27/41
Total Turtle Eggs I have saved: 1,865




Tracks that out smarted a poacher but not me

Sunset for today

Yolkless egg. These do not count in our egg numbers as they are non-productive of a turtle.

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