Sunday, 14 November 2010

Second week on Turtle patrol...

Another quiet, restful week in Todos Santos. I got into a rhythm of doing very little during the day, trying to sleep in the evening and then getting up in the middle of the night to go on turtle patrol. On average we find one nest a night but still no sightings of the illusive Leatherbacks. A study in 1982, estimated that 115,000 adult female leatherbacks existed worldwide and that around 65% of them were nesting in western Mexico. Now the world population is between 25,000 and 40,000 and less than 1% nest in Mexico. A group of sea turtle biologists recently concluded (June, 2000) that gill-net and longline fisheries were probably causing this decline. In short, the Leatherback will probably become extinct in my lifetime unless something drastic changes soon. 

This little fella had about 20 metres of this to get through to make it to the sea.

Nearly there...

He's off...

As Saturday turned into Sunday it was time to say goodbye to Todos Santos. I'd really come to like the place and thoroughly enjoyed staying with Francesca and German. (I was going to include a photo of them but have just realised that I haven't taken one!) Gloria, who was also staying here but not volunteering, was also good fun to be with and kept me entertained with her stories and seemingly endless supply of Tecate beer! Gloria would collapse in fits of laughter at my English accent and quaint English words. Calling a garbage bag a bin liner nearly gave her a heart attack. “Simmer down” Gloria! I even got to like her two Corgies, not my favourite dog but don't you know the queen has them so they must be good. What is it with Americans and the British Monarchy. Gloria also decided to christan me "Nico". Apparantly we all need a Mexico name so it's easier for them to understand. So I'm now travelling under the name Nico.

Next stop? Well I'm on the boat to the mainland on Sunday night and then I need to find a new rear tyre. I've tried arranging this over the internet but it isn't as easy as it was in the U.S. And I believe Monday is a national Holiday (Revolution day) and nothing in Mazatlan will be open. I'm planning on riding down the coast stopping off for a night at Jim's, cruising around the beautiful Mexican coast, heading inland to visit the world famous Monarch butterfly park and then heading into the hell that is Mexico city in order to find Tracy.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Tracy again. It's been a long time. And it will certainly mark yet another big change in my trip. Travelling two up is very different to being solo. When I was planning this whole trip I looked at the eleven weeks I would be spending on my own and wondered how I would cope with it. In our day to day lives it is very seldom that we spend any extended period of time just on our own. And when I was planning this trip many people commented on the fact that I would be doing it (mainly) alone. Clearly the thought of being alone worries people. I've really enjoyed being alone and I've learnt a lot about myself. I've become very comfortable with my own company and much better at entertaining myself. Initially I was worried that I would struggle with my own company but I think I've coped quite well. I don't think I've gone mad but I'll check with Tracy!

Some turtle pictures...

Olive Ridley turtle comes ashore and lays its eggs.

Then she heads off back to the sea

We uncover the eggs in order to save them

Gently taking them out. They feel warm and soft.

76 turtle eggs bagged up and taken to the greenhouse.

In the Greenhouse, German recreates the turtle's nest.

Then we place the eggs in and cover it up

50 days later this pops out!

If this is a male it's the ONLY time in his whole life he'll be ashore

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