Saturday, May 30, 2009

Yet another hot day in paradise! And another early morning wake up thanks to the neighbouring rooster and donkey plus the resident swallows, who have all undertaken the joint responsibility of making sure everyone is up at the crack of dawn.
Rebecca, Tom and I headed to the north beaches this morning while Robbo stayed behind to cover the local ones. Tatlisu beach provided the first tracks clearly visible from quite a distance. The tracks tell us what kind of turtle has been ashore during the night. The Green Turtles flippers leave a symmetrical pattern because she ploughs through the sand with both hind limbs at the same time. The Loggerhead places one hind flipper in front of the other and therefore leaves an asymmetrical track. This track we discovered was made by a Green and after some fairly prolonged prodding, Rebecca located the egg chamber and we were able to dig down to find the eggs.
Onwards north, the next activity was at Kantara, a tiny little beach that doesn't often see much action. However, last night, a Loggerhead came ashore and did her thing. The problem is though, the whole beach is within the high tide range so the nest needed to be relocated to another safer site. Having taken nest measurements, we dug up 88 pin pong ball sized eggs and carefuly placed them in the chilly bin ( forgot the bucket - must get more organised!)along with the mucus covered sand from around the eggs. Further along the coast at Kaplica the nest was recreated and the eggs safely reburied.
Back on Alagadi, Robbo also had a Loggerhead nest.
With more volunteers due to arrive in the next day or two, I spent the afternoon cleaning the 'Sleepy House', getting rid of piles of swallow poo (some poor sod is going to have to sleep under that nest!), inches of accumulated dust, a mouse, 2 geckoes and numerous rather large spiders. The Sleepy House is a couple of hundred metres down the track away from the Goat shed. Once night shift starts this will provide a cool quiet place for those who have patrolled the beach to catch some zzzzz's. While Tom repainted the ornate front gates, Robbo and I returned to the beach with Keco's ute to deal with the 70 odd bags of beach rubbish collected yesterday.
The Goat Shed and gardens look fantastic now and much more inviting for visitors. The donkeys and goats have been most appreciative of the garden rubbish too.
I go to bed each night now knowing that not far from where I lie, under the protective cover of darkness, an ancient ritual will be taking place. How very cool is that!

Ainslie Wilson

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