Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 7 - I'm On a Boat

Date: 7/7/12

Start: Playa Blanca, Puerto Jimenez
End: Playa Blanca, Puerto Jimenez

Word of the day: Zapato - Shoe. I wonder where Zappos came from...

Turtle Fact: Like flamingos, Green Sea Turtle's shell are mostly green because of all the vegetation they eat (Sea Grass and Kelp). It's the chloroplasts in the plants that turn the turtle's Carapace (top part of the shell) verde (Green). 

My alarm clock (cell phone) goes off at 6am. This seems to be about the new standard - which I am fine with. This morning, Didher (Widecasts's top dog) and his family, along with Ricardo and myself head out on the boat to test some new sonar imaging technology, on loan to Widecast for the next month. We head out to a couple different areas, set up the equipment and give it a go. This equipment will allow us to see the sea floor, and anything in the water below us, like turtles laying in kelp beds, or resting on the bottom of the sea floor. This is one of the first times anyone in this group has been able to use this technology and there is certainly a learning curve that comes with it. Luckily this happens to be one of my strong suites (Thanks Marketing Werks). We are able to see images on the bottom, however we are not totally satisfied - we will certainly be trying again in the near future.

On our way back in, we step out of the boat in 2ft of water and walk around the sea grass patches for a little while. Didher explains the various kinds that grow in the area and how the surrounding environment plays such a vital role in the health and growth of this vegetation and how this impact the turtles that come into this area to forage.

We head back in for lunch and prepare the boat for another trip out to the gulf. This time Ricardo, Yolanda, Shay, Paula and myself head out. They show us where the hotspots are located for finding turtles. Within one of these spots we set out a 100m wide and 5m in height of net, parallel to the coast about 1000ft from shore. They do this in hopes to catch turtles that have come close to shore during high tide to forage on the sea grass. When low tide starts to move it, the turtles return to deeper waters. When this happens our nets intersect the turtles. Don't worry, our nets have more than enough slack to let the turtle swim to the surface. (Fact: Turtles often get caught in deployed fishing nets and drown because they do not get a chance to go the surface)

We wait and wait and wait. Nada (nothing). Apparently it's not uncommon to not catch anything while out. However there was a couple factors working against us (time of day and weather). With that said we head back in, confident that tomorrow we will get one.

Since it was Georgina's last day at Playa Blanca (along with Cesar, her friend from Spain visiting her in CR), Ricardo prepared specialty "American" hamburgers for dinner. In return, Georgina and Cesar (pronounced "Thesare") made Gazpacho soup - yum.

Afterwords we relax and eventually head to a little bar down the the street where Cristina's other daughter and son, just happen to be working. I have my first Costa Rican Beer, Imperial - not so shabby. Then came the dancing. Lets just say I learned how to say "Victor sweats l waterfall". I caught on to basic 3 step dance fairly quickly and altered it to my own style, which the audience loved. To kick things up a notch we headed next door where the scene was much louder and more people (oh whom I did not know). After only being in there 20mins, 2 large fight broke out - Awesome people watching time. However, Cristina's daughters thought differently and escorted us back to our "House". Sleep.

Lesson:
  • Searching for turtles is much like fishing.
  • Technology is great when you have a manual to use it
  • Bugs are everywhere

Food: Gazpacho
Animals: Crab, Cockroach, Dolphin

Something I don't want to admit: While dancing I got really hot. Most of my wardrobe is sponsored by Dakota Grizzly. Most, if not all of their clothing is very breathable and is water resistant. Well, about 1/2 way through my dancing I have already used up more napkins than I am sure I was allotted for a 3rd world country to dry the sweet from my face

Days of Rain: 4/4 - Thunderstorm


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