Aug 24, 2011

Aug.19th to 24th

In the last few days I have had a brilliant time. I got to do an excavation of a nest which was really really cool and I got to see my very firts hatchling which I helped to the sea. An excavation happens about 10 days after the first hatching date. WE dig up the nest ad count the eggs to see how many hatched and what other things might have happened in the nest. Sometimes it can be very brutal. There were two public excavations that day so Angie and I did one and Benji and Abbey did the other. The nest I did had no dead hatchlings and maybe only about 20 or so at various development stages, and of course the one live one that I helped to the sea. Abbey and Benji's nest was not so easy they had 5 dead hatchlings about 30 at late development no live ones and about 6 pipped (when the hatchling is half out of the shell but didn't quite make it out.) It smells pretty bad and when you get a brutal one like that you just have to keep reminding yourself that its in the name of science.On Sunday we had a huge camp dinner that we went out to eat for and had a really great time together as half our camp was leaving today. Last night we had a big going away party for them and then a few of us went swimming in the sea at night which was really nice as it was a good temperature and calm for once. Matala is very windy so the sea usually has huge waves. Today was obviously not such a great day because of the people leaving, it was really sad to see everyone leaving and now I'm left on camp wondering what I'm going to do. It's weird how quickly you become attached to people but we did spend everyday and every minute together for the last month so I guess you get to know someone really well in a very short amount of time. Tonite I have slideshow at Delfinias on Kalimaki beach which is always a fun place to go and do the slideshow but it will be weird to do it without Benji since he was the only one I've ever done the slideshow with.
Ionly have 4 days left here at Camp Matala and I will be very sad to be leaving but excited for my next adventure. My computer charger cord broke on camp so updateing and such is a bit more difficult since I can't use my computer right now with no charge in it. When I go to Iraklion on Sunday I'll have to see if I can find one although i do kind of doubt it since Greece is not the most technologically advanced country. Anyways I'll try to update again before I leave....

Aug 18, 2011

Aug. 9~18th

Aug. 9~16
Well alot has happened in the last few days...i had another morning survey which just about killed me, the combination of early morning, trudging through sinking sand, the sun and heat, and the fact that its 10 kms just wrecks me. The survey was really quite uneventful, we saw a few female adult turtle tracks which were unsuccesful attempts to lay, some hatchling tracks and all to the sea no disorientation, and then i stayed behind to replace some parts of a nest shade while everyone else went ahead to the last beach. On the last beach they found a new nest but unfortunately it was in a bad place so we were going have to relocate it. So after morning survey we went back to relax a bit and get ready for slide show and the relocation. The relocation was very intense and very cool. You have to dig down and then one by one you have to dig around the eggs, being very careful not to knock the eggs about as any movement inside the egg could cause the embryo to detach. It was actually a very intense procedure as in this particular nest there were 141 eggs that we have to dig around and mark and then carefully place in the crate and then transfer to the other nest. We have to dig a new nest but can only do this after we get all the eggs out of the old nest and measure it out for width length and depth. So after 2 1/2 hrs we finally finished but we were supposed to be at a restaurant to give a slide show presentation to the public about Archelon and what we are doing here. It was already 9:10 and we were supposed to be there at 9 luckily there was a nice Greek family there that were watching the relocation and offered us a ride to our car in the back of their truck. We had no time to change and ran from our car straight to Delfinias for the slide show. So dirty and covered insand and sweat and sea water we gave ourpresentation and did pretty well. The next night we spent making nest shades. nest shades are used beach mats that ppl donate to us once they're finished with them instead of chucking them out. We then take them and cut them in half, wire some bamboo to them and putthem up around nests in danger. A nestin danger could be from human interaction like too close to a bar,tavern, or restaurant. From animals like dogs, cats, and even falcons (which we have on oneof the beaches we walk). Or in danger from the sun if the turtles dont have enough shade they will dry out and die.
Two nights later i gave my first slide show presentation for the first time. I got a little tongue tied a few times but i think i did ok for the most part. On all the other days its been a lot of kiosk shifts where we just inform the public and sell certain items like necklaces, key rings, books etc....
I have gotten addicted to greek frappees they are so good. Ive also had to stay off the beach until my foot heals and have to wear socks and shoes which was a very weird sensation after living in flip flops for so long.
The people here have been so awesome and so much fun. Sarah, Abbey, and Hayley are three girls from Leeds University and I have had such a great time getting to know them and hanging out with them. Lucia is a girl from Argentina and makes mr laugh so hard, some days I try to practice a bit of Spanish with her which is pretty fun. Benji and Daniel are brothers from England but can speak fluent German and French as well and are just amazing guys they are so sweet. Angie is from Australia and is the project leader and even though she is runningthe whole camp all by herself she still finds time to be in true aussie form and a little bit of crazy party time. Irini is from Athens and is so funny and very patient with me when i was trying to practice my Greek. Lawrence is a guy from England and is the funniest guy ever but seriously lazy and crazy. Its also been a lot of fun meeting the people that work here. Alex is our pool boy and takes care of us at the pool. Kostas is the barman at Marineros and he is the cutest little guy ever and also is currently having a holiday romance with Sarah. Sifi is the hot barman at Hakuna Matata and he helps me perfect my greek and teaches me new words. Dimitri also works at Hakuna but he's very weird and creepy. Theres a lovely lady that works at a restaurant on the beach and is quite possibly the sweetest thing ever.

Aug 9, 2011

Updatingthe last few days...

August 4
Today was my first morning survey, Its a 10 km walk in the sand. We walk 5 kms down the beach from komos to kalimaki beach and we check the nests that have already been found and make sure they havent been tampered with. We look for turtle tracks of hatchlings to see if they made it to the sea and how many hatched and if there were any predators or human interference. The morning was actually pretty difficult for me, that walk in the deep sand just wrecked me and the heat made me into a melted mess. I am hoping that after a couple more times it will get easier. Im getting much better in the kiosk and talking to people. I actually feel like i have enough info to be able to talk about it with some sort of intelligence. So today was very long as i had to do two jobs almost back to back. After my kiosk shift we went down to watch the volleyball game again, had some coffee and just chilled until dinner.
August 5 to 8
Been really tired and my computer wasnt charging so i fell behind which is why i am doing the 5th to the 8th all together. In the last few days i went out with some of the girls visiting from the chania camp and rethymno camp, which was very interesting as i got to hear about whats going on in the other nesting beaches and what they've been doing. One of the girls spent some time working in the Athens rescue center last year and that seemed really interesting as well. I might come back next year and do that. Other than that its been slide shows, kiosk shifts, and a whole lotta beach and pool time.

Aug 4, 2011


August 1
So i arrived in matala today at about 2 pm and rocked up to the archelon campsite. Its pretty small and very sandy its really hard to walk up the hill cuz i keep sliding backwards in the sand. Everyone here seems really nice, there are about 10 other people here so its a nice small group. I hung out for a bit and met everyone and then went down to the beach for a swim to cool off as its very very hot here. The sea is gorgeous and its right by these ancient caves that you can climb up to explore. The camp is right on the mediteranean sea so thats pretty sweet. After the swim i went back to camp for dinner and then got a brief overview of what im on the schedule for over the next few days. Then went down the road to a bar for a pool party which was pretty fun and then from there we went to another place called hakuna matada where you can go upstairs and have this amazing view of the water and the caves that are lit up at night. After a bit of dancing we went back to camp for some much needed rest.

August 2
Aargh, woke up early due to my tent being a sauna, it was so gross and so hot! Couldnt even deal just got up and went straight to the showers. Went into town for some breakfast and then some swimming. The waves were so big today I spent a bit of time trying to swim against the waves that was quite the workout. Then just hung out at camp for a bit and wrote some postcards, while i waited for my shift in the kiosk to start. I have the later shift from 5~830 then back to camp for some vegetarian dinner. I guess august will be a vegetarian month which is probably okay since i had like 5 kebabs in like three days in athens. So the shift at the kiosk was good it was really slow and no one wanted to talk to us but then in the last half hour we slod like 9 pendants and a t shirt and some donations. It was a bit slow going trying to araise public awareness and trying to remember what to say. Im sure it will get easier though. Tomorrow i think i have to go watch the slideshow that we give for the public cuz i think i'll be doing that next week.

August 3
Worst day ever first i made an attempt to run from the coffee shop where we were watching the volleyball tournament and i burnt the bottom of my toes. So now i have three blisters on the bottom of three toes on each foot. Then when i got back to camp i found my tent had been shattered from the wind and one of the poles was broken in half. My brother is going to kill me. After that i had cooking duty and i sliced two of my fingers while cutting the vegetables. That also means i didnt have time to fix my tent before dark. So now i have six blistered toes and two hurting fingers and no tent and i have my first morning survey tomorrow at 530 am. So all in all not super great but alas tomorrow is a new day and hopefully it will be much better. I will hopefully see some hatchlings tomorrow, fix my tent, watch men as volleyball doubles, and just generally feel better about everything tomorrow.
so after walking 3 kms I found out I was at the wrong bus stop and would have to walk another 6 kms to get to the right one but the trip was all sold out so I could only get the bus tomorrow sooo since it was already about 7 I decided to get a room in heraklion and deal with the bus in the morning. So I checked into the El Greco Hotel and then showered all the gross sweat away and walked around the city center. I went to see the old venetian wall,and just walked around the village and explored before going back to the hotel for my long day tomorrow.