Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Everything is possible and nothing is for sure

"Everything is possible and nothing is for sure" this saying has proven to be very true during my time in Costa Rica. It is my third and final week with the Corcovado foundation and it has been an amazing experience. From the moment I arrived here in Drake Bay I have felt an feeling of peace. Whether your laying in a hammock listening to the sounds of the rain forest or walking along the beach in the dark, there is a feeling of wholeness and happiness. There are so many things I want to write about, but I will just write about my favourite night patrol.

We were out in Rio Oro, another location where the Corcovado foundation works along side an organization called LAST. We were all fairly tired after patrolling for a couple nights in a row, but you always forgot how tired you were once you saw a turtle, which in Rio Oro was every night. That night, the director of Corcavado, Rob, had came out with us on patrol. He said he was good luck or something, we thought he was just kidding. As we stood waiting for an indecisive olive ridley turtle to find a spot to lay her eggs we looked at the stars. It was a beautiful night. There was not a cloud in the sky and all the stars were visible. You could see the Milky Way galaxy so clearly that it made you feel small.

Rob piped up "I have a feeling we are going to see a green turtle tonight, it is always a beautiful night when you see a green turtle". He rambled on about the last green turtle he saw while we continued heading down the beach. Down the beach, clearly etched in the sand, we could see turtle tracks going up the beach. We had seen many tracks by this time, but these ones looked different than the olive ridley tracks that we usually saw. They were clean, defined and larger. We walked towards the tracks with excitement and examined them closer with a red light while Aida went to see what the turtle was doing.

Now that we were close to the tracks, we could clearly see that they belonged to a green sea turtle, which did not come to this beach as often as the olive ridley turtles. Aida beckoned us to come up the beach. There she was, preparing to head back to the sea already. She was very determined to walk straight through us and back down the beach, but we tried to hold her down for just a couple minutes. I quickly took her measurements while Aida and Rob wrote down her tag information. After that we let her go and she walked back down to the ocean, stopping every couple seconds to exhale. We followed slowly, staying a few steps behind her until she was swept away by a wave.

In that same night I got to relocate a nest of an olive ridley turtle. She had chosen a spot right next to the lagoon, which we knew would soon be underwater as it is only the beginning of the rainy season. I lied behind her in the sand, collecting the eggs as they dropped into the nest. Each egg a perfect white circle, delicate and soft. I counted them as I placed them into the relocation bag. 97! There were 97 eggs in the bag. We let her cover up the now empty nest and we carried the eggs down the beach to a safer spot. They are surprisingly heavy! Once we found a suitable spot, Aida began to dig a nest, so perfect in neat because you would not expect anything less from Aida. I held the eggs in my lap as I looked at the stars. It was a memory I will not soon forget. Once the whole was dug, with its perfect chamber, I lowered the eggs into their new nest.

I suppose Rob did prove to be good luck on patrol that night, but each night was amazing in one way or another. My time here in Costa Rica has been amazing. I have made so many memories and met so many incredible people. My only wish is that I could stay longer.

Que bonita es la vida en una hamaca!

Ali, 20, Canada

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