My First Day
Punta Banco Travel Blog› entry 4 of 18 › view all entries
Ever since my first day at school, I have always dreaded my first day...of anything. First day of school, first day of secondary school, first day of college, first day of work.....hated them all. I was dreading my first day of work here in Punta Banco. I had no idea of what to expect even after all Kelly's very very detailed accounts of what Punta Banco life is like.
When I awoke, I felt I could hear the raining pouring down. My door was open so I looked out to see the rain that I missed so much being an Irishman. Through my door I could see the sea and the beauty of a sunny sky. So what was the noise I could hear. I looked out my window and saw a beautiful waterfall. All of a sudden all my first day blues disappeared. All this and I still had yet to get out of bed.
Downstairs, nobody was around so I decided to stroll around and see what the area is like. As I walked past the bar, I met Johnny who told me that my breakfast was almost ready. As it turns out, Sarah had ordered and paid for her brothers breakfast and for Johnny's. Chomorro, the owner, got confused and thought it was for me. I dont think I ever thanked Sarah for that lovely free meal....
After breakfast we met the girls down on the beach realising a batch of babies. Wish I had my camera. It was a truly magical sight. I had wanted to see this for so long and now it was finally right in front of me. Its amazing to see how quickly they truly move. The waves crash in with such force to take them off to their new homes. Magical.
That should have been the highlight to my day but so much more was still to happen.
Kelly thought it would be nice for us to check out the waterfall behind our house. The water was not too high but was still a good bit of craic. She showed me these stones that you could break and grind down to cover ourselves in. Apparently it is good for your skin, but to be honest, the little boy in me really just wanted to make a mess and break things!
Later on, tonight was my first night on patrol. I had been waiting for this since Eric told me about Punta Banco. I am so happy he told me about this place. I was patrolling South Beach tonight with Kelly & Sarah. As we got onto the beach, I pointed at a big rock and said "hey look at that big funny rock, almost looks like a giant turtle!!"...to which Sarah replied "its is a turtle, a small one.
Hmmm I guess the only turtle I have ever seen was my nephews turtle that fits nicely into the palm of your hand. This turtle was almost the same size as my nephew!
This patrol was amazing. We came across about 6 or 7 turtles either about to lay or still trying to find the right spot.
Its a wierd feeling the work we do. The idea is to find the eggs and put them safely into our hatchery until they hatch to keep them safe from poachers and other predators like crabs. So here I am, lying down behind this mother, digging a hole into where she is about to lay her eggs all so I can catch them and move them without her ever noticing them.
Then we watch as she covers over the hole where she believes her baby to be and waddles back to the water. All the while, I am just stood there after turtle-napping her babies, all 127 of them! She will never know that I stole her babies. She will never know to hate me. She will never even know that I did it in the hope of helping her babies survive.
BY the end of the night however, I had gained a lot of experience off the two girls and have really proved myself as a turtle mid-wife. It may not have been the reason I spent 6 years in college for but impressive none the less. As Grounds Keeper Willie once said, "If I don't save the wee turtles, no-one will!!!".....