Saturday, 19 March 2011
Delta 4 - Turtle Patrol in Camaronal!
Words: Mags Chilaev
Delta Romeo Four, a group of extraordinary people on an extraordinary mission- saviour of Camaronal turtles and constructors of the world's best jungle camp. With the weight of this mammoth task on our bronzed shoulders we set out to the shores of Costa Rica, with an air that’s been suppressed by intellectual powerhouse Chris Florren: ‘toned, tanned and turtles.’
The sea gods, smiled upon us on our very first night as we were roused at the late hour of 9.28pm to witness the nest of a leatherback. The vivid image of the shy creature pushing eggs out of her rear will stay with us for some time. This hearty introduction to Camaronal was spoilt the next morning when the half the group suddenly observed Richard undress in the limited privacy of his basher bed, signalling the need for a changing room.
Our duties have been in two parts: construction of a new hatchery to house turtle eggs and collection of the eggs, day and night patrols.
The last week has been an exciting one for Camaronal turtle guardians that have ranged from evacuating our camp to digging up palm trees. Our first adventure began on the morning of the 11th march as our worried PM’s relayed to us the horrifying details of the Japanese Earthquake. Though initially concerned we calmly evacuated several kilometres inland to the mountains where we spent the night and watched the minimal impact of the ‘tsunami.’
The next few days saw us returning to normality as we continued our work on the beach hatches, under the relentless sun; patrols on the beach at night in search of turtle eggs- there are worse work sites! In the evenings we play beach football with other volunteers and park rangers though Raleigh United have been slipping in the premiership. On 15th March we entertained ourselves by hosting a tribal themed party as the divas of the camp dressed in palm leaves, whilst the men wore grassy appendages. We all feel particularly privileged to be on this phase together and anticipate future adventures together.