Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Digging Holes

Planting palms trees.
After a late night of patrolling and not getting a single turtle, we are awaken by the PRETOMA truck in our yard. We knew they were coming to take us to Caletas, but in rare form they showed up a half hour early. So Victor and I ran around quickly getting ready to go, only to find the car had left.

I called Erik to see where they had gone. He didn't say much other than he would be there shortly. About 45 minutes later, the truck is back in the yard and full of coconut palm saplings. Victor and I load into the car and we head into Coyote to pick up our lunch for the day, gas for the Weed Whacker and shovels before stopping by Playa Coyote. When we got to the beach, we stoppped by a Costa Rican's house who had all different kinds of saplings. With another 20 trees in the truck, we headed to Caletas.

Walking toward the camp with all the food.
When we got there we are met by Colin, Gus, Sharon and Ingrid. Jose, the guy in charge, explained he wanted the palm trees planted every 10ft. on both sides of the road. With that, we got to work.

Since there were not enough shovels for everyone, Ingrid and I measured out and placed all the palm trees and then the boys came behind us with the shovels. We did this for a couple hours before all the palms are planted. By this time, everyone was getting hungry and ready to head back to camp, but before we could to that we had to plant all the other kinds saplings which were mostly beach almonds.

Twenty minutes later, we walked the mile down the beach to get to the camp. The boys gave Victor and I a tour, while the girls made us lunch which included meat and cheese,  both rarities for the Caletas camp. Afterwards, we hung out another hour or so before the PRETOMA truck returns to take us home.

Shower in Caletas
Last night, our patrol began at 8 and Matt and I walked north, while Victor rode the bike the whole beach. Matt and I made it just under a half a kilometer from the house when we saw our first track. Since the turtle was just beginning to make her nest, I decided to go grab our neighbor, Wendy, who lives 50ft away from where the turtle was trying to nest.

When she and I got to the turtle, the turtle still hadn't began to nest.  Victor in the mean time had radioed over to tell us there was another turtle nesting just ahead. So Matt went ahead to the next turtle while Wendy and I stayed with the first.

I once again checked her process because it was taking so long, only find out that she is missing her back left flipper. As we watched her try to make a nest using just one flipper and it became apparent it was too difficult. She had aborted the nest 2 times walked towards the water. We waited worriedly to see if the was really giving up, but were relieved when she turned back towards the shore. This was one determined turtle!

When she finally made it back to the vegetation, I decided I would help her dig the nest. I laid behind her and every time her missing flipper made the motion of digging, I took a scoop of sand being careful not to let her feel my hand.

Twenty minutes later, she made once final scoop with her good flipper and she was ready to lay. As the eggs dropped, I collected them for the hatchery. An interesting thing about these eggs was they were very hard compared to most turtle eggs, which leads me to believe that they were probably fairly old and that she had tried to nest already this season and couldn't.

The bathroom
Since there is no running water,
they have to bring buckets of water to flush.
110 eggs later, I helped the tired turtle re- cover her nest and Wendy and I watched as the magnificent creature made her way back to sea.

Kitchen sink with well in the background

One of the cabins

Shower from the outside


No comments:

Post a Comment