Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 9 - Dream Catcher

Date: 7/9/12

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

Word of the day: Flaco - Skinny
Turtle Fact:  The Latin name for Hawksbill Sea Turtle is Eretmochelys imbricata. Imbricata is latin for over lapping. This can be noticed on the Hawksbill's shell. The plates on their carapace over lap each other (not smooth). 

5:30 alarm goes off. I do the usual morning stroll along the beach to start of the day in Zen like fashion. After breakfast 7:00am we prepare for an early day on the gulf to catch more turtles. It's all the usual characters (Dad, Shay, Ricardo, Paula and myself) in addition to Joe. Joe comes to us from an organization that sets up adventures for teens (high schoolers) all over the world. His primary focus is those activities in Costa Rica. He will be staying around for a couple days to check out what the area/facilities have available for the kids to do, had the organization decided to make this one of their stops.

We head to a the same area as days before. On our way out to the spot, we realize we did not put the drain plug back in... the boat takes on water as soon as we stop. David puts the plug back in right away. Today looks especially promising for catching turtles because as we set up the net, every couple minutes we see a turtle in a different area come to the surface for air. After the net was all setup we head to the nearest beach. Once on the beach for a hot minute. This beach is scattered with coconut trees and seems to be virgin. We walk around for a hot minute, gather some young green coconuts and mangos (for consuming later) and head back to the boat.

About 2 hours go by and we see some splashing over by the nets - YES! We head over and find another Pacific Green Sea Turtle in the net. This one had tags on it from a previous Widecast catch. Can you believe that, two in two days. Apparently that is not common. After giving it a once over, we release it back to the gulf.

We wait another 2 hours or so. During this down time, we widdle on coconut shells, tells stories and make fun of each other - good times. BOOM! Turtle #2 get caught in the net. This time it' a smaller Pacific Green Turtle. We bring it into the boat and chillax for another 2 hours before heading back in. As a side note, this turtle was particularly calm in the boat. From past experience (from the assistants point of view) this means that the turtle will be "fisty" on the examination table. (Fisty - back in the day, Georgina (former research assistant) used the word "fisty" instead of "fiesty" to describe a turtle's behavior. Now it's a big inside joke amongst the crew).

Once on land, another crowd (larger than before) gather at the beach to see the Tortuga get out of the boat. We take place it in the Rescue Center so we can grab some lunch. After some delicious food we prepare the tools and begin examining the turtle. During the examination the turtle was indeed fisty. You could see Joe and Ricardo struggle to hold down this smaller turtle. Like I said before, these guys are all muscle in their flippers. You could have compared this turtle to myself in soccer circa 1996 when a coach had said I was made of "Piss and Vinegar".

Once completed with the examination we return the turtle back to the Gulf. Half way through walking the turtle (in a wheel barrel) to the water, he tried to jump ship. Luckily the other assistants were walking near by and was able to stable the little guy. We release him into the gulf. This time the crowds is aggressive and tries to get close - there was some loud shouting in Spanish going on to instruct people to move back. I love chaos.

You know that feeling the next morning, after having a party, at your place and you have to clean up the mess you made. Well that's what it's like. (Side Note: I actually don't know that feeling. A certain father of mine instilled a late night cleaning gene that does not allow you to retire the night until the house has been cleaned for the most part). This time is was not that bad since, everyone knew what to do based on the day before and it was not raining - that helps.

We relax a bit, go for a casual swim and prepare for dinner. It's about that point in my trip where I start gathering people contact information in hopes to stay in contact after my departure. In doing so, I learn a little more about "Camping Luciernaga", the place in which we are staying. At this point I am having in-depth conversations with Cristina's son Paul (Pablo). He is about 17 years old and speak decent English - more than most people I have come across. Throughout the last couple days they have seen me post pictures to my Facebook. Pablo asks if I can send him some pictures, in which I share "HelpingTurtles" site with him. In the process he asks if I can help him with Camping Luciernaga facebook page - OF COURSE! I spend the next 2 hours going through and getting things started for them... more to come in later posts

DING DING DING - Did I just find my international calling? Helping those businesses in 3rd world countries catch up on social media to make themselves visible to the rest of the world (or at least the gen X & Y) so that their services can be found by those traveling? All that you would need is a camera, electricity, computer, internet and knowledge of the culture and language. I'm half way there! We will let this idea simmer for a bit.

BACKTRACK -As Pablo and I chat about Camping Luciernaga he explains that the tag line for this place is "Make a Dream Catcher". Apparently many of the visitors here will go out with Pablo, collect things in nature and make a dream catcher out of them. Now that he mentions this, I know realize all of them, all over the campground and dinning area.


  • You are able to spoon out the meat of the young coconut very easily and it tastes AMAZING.
  • Facebook is affecting everyone, everywhere.
  • Getting business is not the same anymore. People just don't pick a destination and pick up a pamphlet when they arrive. They plan (or at least for the most part)
  • Bug Spray stings on open cuts, or open scratch wounds.
  •  Young coconut is easy to carve and seems like great inexpensive way to provide gifts...
  • People are lazy everywhere
  • Being rinsed in fresh water and drying is essential to your skin.

Food:  Young Coconut
Animals: Turtle, Snake, Pelican 

Something I don't want to admit: I normally don't use Gold Bond (medicated) medicinally, but rather recreational. However, doing my research and preparing before arrive to Costa Rica I found that this product would be essential to comfortable living. With that said, this was the first day I dipped into my supply and used a rather generous application. Wow what a difference. Who knew the Eskimo girls would visit me here! 

Days of Rain: 6/6 Light Thunderstorm 

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