Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 121 - Caught Red Paw'ded

Date: 10/29/12
Location: Costa de Oro, Costa Rica

Word of the day: plastico - plastic
Turtle Fact: It is a common myth that sea turtles cry. What is really taking place is that they excrete the salt water from their bodies through their eyes.

6am wake up in the hatchery. I head inside and make a quick bowl of cereal, however today i add rolled oats to the corn flakes. Great new addition to the milk starch combination. . This morning I decide to go on an adventure bike ride. My original plan we as to just bike tot he estuary and have a look around the mangroves as it was low tide. I must admit, I was inspired to make this trip after reading Maddie's blog (see below for link). However after getting to the estuary and seeing how low it was and being a betting man (from time to time), I would wager that Maddie would be up already at San Miguel. So I lift the bike over the 16“ of water and cross the little stream. As I bike closer to the San Miguel Pretoma house, I notice a fishing troller that is fairly close to shore towards the north end. I approach the house from the beach and find Maddie blogging away with her cup of tea. Perfect!  I help myself and make of coffee. We spend the next hour or so catching up on life and then head out to the beach to snap I some pictures of the fishing stroller boat that is now in front of the house. I have never seen the boat this close before - what is going here?

Not intending to stay for breakfast, Hilary (San Miguel research assistant from Canada - also Maddie's friend) convinces me to stay as she has heard rumors about Chef Victor's great cooking and hopes to impress me with her skills. As I am not one to turn down food, I gladly accept the invitation. Breakfast #2 (Scrambled eggs, toast, and assortment of fruit). Approved!

After chatting up the crew of San Miguel for a while, I take off on the newly flattened gravel road (perfect for biking on when compared to sand) and head south back toward the estuary and my beach. On the way I stop to take some pictures at this torn down house on the side of the road. Over grown with plants, and cement walls still standing, it was a interesting environment. By mistake I almost ran onto this NASTY spider web. After seeing this huge creature (later to be determined as a Yellow Orb) I take a couple picture to eventually harass a younger brother with on social media in the near future

Sidenote: Back in the day, we used to torment my younger brother (yes the one who visited) with dead spiders. Like any older, loving brother would, we use this fear against him any chance we could. In fact sometimes, we would just wad up a some paper towel and pretend there was a dead one inside. These chases around the house would end when he would lock himself in the bathroom and we would get too bored waiting for him to come out. Thanks. I'm Sorry. Your Welcome.

I continue south a eventually hit the estuary. Since it was low tide, the area looked very barren with small steams running into small pools of water. All along the mud floor was hermit crab tracks leading from one pool to the next. Many of the local birds were perched in the tree tops looking to make their move on the muddy surface below. I bike the perimeter of the area while taking it all in.  I stop in one area where the mouth of the river widens greatly and is the actual start of the river. The banks are covered with small snails that are actually clinging on to small mangrove roots waiting for the tide to return. Snails climbing on trees? Crazy.

I eventually cross the river and ride back using the road parallel to the beach. Once I reach the house I find everyone, including Lotti, in the hatchery going over future procedures. After re-uniting me with my now sharpened machete she takes off and we (Courtney, Kayla and I head to the ocean for a cool down swim. Lunch. The girls made some anti-pasta salad which has been marinating since this morning - yum. Siesta beach side.

Enjoying the afternoon soon, I head out to the higher banks of the beach with my sifter in hand and start looking for small pieces of plastic. I have semi-stole the idea of making a mosaic of plastic pieces and gluing them onto a piece of driftwood - more on the actual project later. Jumping back into the ocean to cool off, I decide to get my sweat on. Run. Shower. Sunset.

Dinner (sausage tacos). After dinner I was preparing myself for an evening siesta before my late patrol when Courtney came running into the house. Very quickly, she requests my assistance as she just caught a dog in our hatchery! I run out to the hatchery to asses the situation. There was a new gaping hole next to the previous house and 2 nests had been slightly disturbed. So the story goes... Courtney was in the Kitchen with Kayla when she thought she heard a motorcycle approach the house. Several moments later she hears the vigorous clinking of empty glass bottles (which were strung to the side of the hatchery) in the back yard. Both girls immediately run outside and see this large dog, just just through the side of the hatchery fence. By the time the girls got into the hatchery, the dog had started digging two (but disturbing too much) and was now cornered. Which I could assume was a very scary situation for them, the dog decided to make an exit move and just Juggernaut himself the the back of the hatchery with out hesitation. The girls described it as if it was a cartoon where the thief runs straight through a brick wall to make his escape. Moments later, they notice the motorcycle in the distance (on a public beach access road, 2 lots down) which had the made the noise earlier take off. Was this person part of the culprit, or just coincidence?

Knowing my evening patrol was just canceled and just put on hatchery duty, I go inside to gather my 'night in the hammock' essentials (tablet, speakers, water, snack and a shirt). The feeling around the house was that there would be another visit from this creature again tonight. This is most likely due to the fact that we had preformed several exhumations earlier in the day and the smell of the turtle eggs where in the air. Netflix time.

Around midnight I hear scratching just to the right of me, on the outside of the hatchery. Peeking under the tarp very slowly, I see the large dog that I could only assume was the culprit earlier today. Just as the lift the tarp a little higher to get a good profile of the dog, it notices me and takes of running. Damn dogs...

2am sleep.

Lesson: Dogs have great noses and some have great personalities. However I find most in Costa Rica a threat to my main objective - HelpingTurtles.

Food: Sausage/Chrorizo Tacos. Plated with flavored corn, melted tico cheese and homemade salsa

Animals: DOGs, spiders, crabs, snails, birds,

Something I am thankful for: Being at the right place at the right time.
Something I don't want to admit:I hate spiders too. They are just scary/alien looking. Upon seeing the spider I saw today and trying to be adventurous photographer, I got pretty close to this creature. In fact, as I was getting a close up (using the macro setting on my digital camera) I disturbed the web a little which made the spider move all around. This sent me into a semi panic as I was currently perched on a broken wall, with only cement rubble beneath me if I should fall. Luckily my nerves subsided and I was able to get down calmly with out injury

I did not go on patrol

Total Nest I have saved:45
Total Nests Poached on my Patrol:44
Total Turtle Eggs I saved: 5102
Total Baby Turtles I Released: 955
Days of Rain: 79/117

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