LAST Week Nine: The Beginning of the End

We said goodbye to J a week ago, which really started to feel like the beginning of the end of our time here. This week we’ve had three pretty successful ocean days, including catching an adult male hawksbill to set our second satellite tracker on.

We spent an ocean day right on our beach, on Sunday. This meant it was fairly busy and we had an audience for the two black turtles that we caught. Although it makes it slightly more stressful for us, this is a great way of doing outreach with the local community and making them aware of the turtle population on their doorstep. This is especially important in Playa Blanca where lots of turtles get into trouble from lines and hooks discarded by local subsistence fisheries.

That said, it was a relief to head up to beautiful Playa Peresoza for the next one and have the place to ourselves for two more turtles.

On our third ocean day, three people joined us for an “Airbnb experience”. Luckily for them we captured all three types of turtle that we have in the gulf – a hawksbill, a black, and a green. All were fully mature and pretty heavy! The hawksbill was a male, exactly the type of turtle we are currently satellite tracking, so we returned him to the rescue centre in Playa Blanca for the night. It was fun to have some new people to talk to, even if only for a day. They were three older and fairly well off Americans on holiday in Costa Rica, and I thought it was really cool that they were still keen to volunteer and happy to get stuck in.

Saturday is usually our day off but we wanted to get the turtle (“Joe”) back out as soon as possible so we spend the morning applying the satellite tracker. We’d learned from our experiences last time and he was thankfully calm for most of the process, so this all went smoothly and was over in about three hours. Only two more to go!

When we haven’t been working with the turtles this week we have spent a morning helping at the recycling centre, finished off all of the mangrove remeasurements for September (and done a lot of data entry), and planted a red mangrove plot with our current volunteer.

It seems completely crazy that I have less than a week left now, and our replacements will be arriving to start learning the ropes on Wednesday! Time flies when you’re having fun. While I’ll be sad to leave the turtles and I’m pretty sure I’ll be freezing as soon as I touch down in London, I’m getting pretty excited to see people and to maybe even get a job (a girl can dream).

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