100 hatchlings, 5 turtles, 2 rays and a swamp eel!

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
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Trip End Nov 18, 2012


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Flag of Seychelles Islands  ,
Saturday, November 10, 2012

Greetings from Paradise :-)  And I mean that literally, as I am currently in the Paradise hotel on Praslin where I'm spending a lovely relaxing day, which started with a stuff-yourself eat-all-you-like buffet breakfast (I managed a plate of cooked breakfast, followed by pancake with chocolate sauce, followed by danish pastries and fruit!).  I then rolled myself onto the beach for a spot of sunbathing and digesting! 

The first two weeks I was here we had rain every day, mainly at night, but this last week the dry season seems to have kicked in and it's been really scorching.  The temperature doesn't seem to fluctuate more than between 29 - 31 degrees, but the humidity ranges from about 75% to 95%, and boy has it been humid!  I think I've lost my body weight in sweat every day (and that's highly attractive I can tell you!).  I've suffered from overheating a bit this week and had to take to my bed a couple of times (I know, what a wimp!).

Thank you for all your lovely comments, I really enjoy reading them.  It's good to have some sort of connection with civilisation!

We've had 3 exams this week (I don't remember signing up for that!), which were on Mangroves, Coco de Mers and Turtles.  I'm happy to say I passed them all (what a girly swot).  I also tried my hand at making bread rolls and more flapjacks - all the bread we have is made by hand and we all have to chip in.  The bread didn't turn out particularly well, but I have now been officially named as the flapjack queen! (Yes I'll make you all some when I get back!).

Our days start at 7.00am when we have duties.  This includes either kitchen duties (ie making breakfast & cleaning the kitchen) or grounds duties (raking the sand to stop sand flies breeding, sweeping, emptying the poo bags etc!).  The two huts alternate the duties each day.  Then we start whatever activity we have been allocated at 7.30am.

This week started off very busy.  On Monday I did a long wurtle (for those who don't remember/weren't paying attention, a wurtle is a turtle walk, and a snurtle is a turtle snorkel!).  This takes us on a walk for about an hour, over 4 hills, to a beach called Grande Anse which is the busiest for turtle nesting, and is where we do our turtle patrols.  Then later we had the Coco de Mer exam.  On Tuesday I went into the mangroves to map out a quadrat and tag and log trees, which is quite a messy job but good fun.  While we were there we saw an eel in the shallows of the swamp (there were a few girly squeals when we spotted that!).  Then later we got back, had lunch and did a short wurtle and snurtle.  The snorkelling was really good - I saw a turtle swimming around, 2 eagle rays and an enormous silver fish, as well as numerous other amazing fish.  When we got back we crammed in a bit of revision and had our mangrove exam.  Tuesday night is movie night so we watched Hot Fuzz, which was good.

Wednesday brought another snorkel, then a long wurtle where I spotted another emerging turtle on my patrol (I've been told I'm a lucky charm where turtle spotting is concerned!).  Then on our way back to base we were on another beach and another turtle came up the beach just near us!  Later that day was the turtle exam - the last of the exams, thank goodness!  Thursday was one of the lad's 20th birthday (I feel so old!!!).  We had a resident rat in our hut last night which I thought I would freak out about, but I was strangely OK with it, except when I heard it rustling around near my bed.  It helped when one of the girls said 'think of it as a hamster!'.  Apparently it's quite cute, but I'll reserve judgement until I come face to face with it.  Today the group that went on a long wurtle dug out some hatchlings that were due to emerge, and they brought them back to base in a bucket.  The hatchlings normally emerge at night, so at 6.00pm we took the bucket down to the beach to release them, but they were all asleep!  They were soooo cute.  We had to try to wake them up by rubbing their tummies and stroking their heads, and if you held them under their shell they would grip your fingers with their little flippers!  However, they really didn't want to wake up, so we had people watching them on shifts while the rest went and had some dinner.  Later on a few of them had woken up and we watched them make their way down to the water, with encouraging shouts of 'come on, you can do it!'  By this time it was pitch dark and we weren't allowed to use torches, so after I had encouraged my little hatchling into the water I laid on my back on the beach and looked up at the amazing night sky, and watched the shooting stars for a while. There are still loads of the hatchlings in the bucket that really don't want to come out yet!  Bless them :-). 

We were shown a documentary fisheries film about the illegal fishing and how it's affecting the fish populations around the world, which was a bit of an eye opener.  Apparently 50% of the fish we eat is fished illegally!  It made me think twice about eating fish!

I can't believe I've been here for 3 weeks now!  Next week will apparently be quite an easy one, as we only do a couple of days work, then we're taken on a fun snorkel somewhere, then Thursday will be camp clean, then we get the rest of the week to ourselves to take final photos, explore more of the island, pack our bags etc.  Although it will be sad to leave, I'm looking forward to the luxuries of home, and just to finally feel clean would be nice! :-)

This may be the last of my blogs as next Saturday we're taken back to Mahe early in the morning, so I don't know if I'll be able to connect to the internet before I get on the flight.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Sarah xx

PS the photo of the 4 of us girls jumping in the air is on Anse Lazio, which I found out is the beach where both of the fatal shark attacks happened last year!  Don't worry mum, I'm still alive.....





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Comments

Heather on

Wow- what an amazing time you are having! It all looks so fantastic- but you can keep the palm spider and the rat, no matter how cute he is!!! The hatchlings are great - what a treat to be there to release them! The weather here is wet and cold, so make the most of the heat,even if it is a bit too humid - I would be wilting in that as well! Bit rough having the exams, but at least you are no stranger to them- unlike me - can't remember the last time I sat an exam!! Hope you continue to enjoy your time there- can't believe its hurrying to an end already! Enjoy your last week... and try not to get eaten by sharks...........!!
Love,
Heather xxx

Andy Lucas on

Wow, it all looks amazing. I'm a celebrity get me out of here started last night on TV. What they have is luxury compared to you guys. Cannot wait to hear more stories when you get back. Really enoying your posts.

Andy x

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