Sea Turtles – Aug. 22, 2012

Tonight I’m sitting on the dock of Captain Don’s Habitat.  Overlooking the water is a beautiful restaurant with a great number of people in it, some of whom are part of the Wounded Warriors’ Project who have been here for a week or so now.  These are mostly U.S. soldiers wounded in battle.

(No photos today)

The restaurant is built on undercut rock so that the waves create a thudding sound as they hit underneath, and often spray back.  There are lots of lights around here, so the star-viewing is not the best, but the reason I came is for the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire presentation that happens twice monthly.

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Today the battle against the fleas continued.  I got ready in good time, and spread special flea powder all around the house to rid the fabrics, such as the sofa and bed, of fleas that the dogs had brought in with them last week.  I used a can and-a-half, and sprinkled it on mattresses and carpets, couches and chairs, and on the floor.  I left it sit during the day, and went to work.  I hadn’t imagined I would be doing this on my holidays.

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At work, I spent a fair bit of time reviewing listener prayer letters, and was able to select a favorite from the ones sent from RTM Brazil.  I also did some work on the website.

In the afternoon, Brad Swanson dropped by around two o’clock, and said that he had found a chemical spray to kill the fleas in the dirt in the back yard, and asked me to accompany him back home.  We got there around three o’clock, and Brad and his wife, Sandra, pitched in to help me fight these pests.  Brad mixed up the solution in a hand-pump sprayer, and spent over an hour spraying the yard bit by bit.  He eventually ran out of solution, and so we will have to go back at it tomorrow to complete the job.

Sandra treated the animals with powder outside before bringing them into the house to keep them out of the way of Brad’s spraying operation.  She then continued to spread a bit more powder on them inside, and then brushed them out.  You can tell that Sandra loves dogs, and has a special way with them.  I spent the time sweeping up the flea powder, and vacuuming off the couches and beds.  I was also doing the laundry to clean all the bedding as well.  It was after five by the time they left, and I was very grateful for their having come to my rescue.

For supper, I drove just a short ways down to the Casa Blanca Hotel where they were serving yellow snapper.  It was the melt-in-your-mouth kind of fish, and was very good.  The young man who was the waiter was interested in my new Android Cell Phone, the Samsung Gallaxy S3.  Apparently it is not yet available here, much to his chagrin.  While I was showing him my iPad, the calendar function sounded the alarm for the turtle event coming up at eight o’clock.  This was very fortunate, as I had rather forgotten about this.

On the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (bonaireturtles.org) makes a presentation here at Captain Don’s Habitat.  When I arrived at ten to eight, the doors were still locked, but the speaker did manage to show up just before eight o’clock.  Leo was a Dutch fellow, who gave a great presentation in English.  You could tell that he was very passionate about what he does, and went into great detail.

The five types of sea turtles sighted here are now all protected on Bonaire.  It seems this foundation is very active in cleaning the beaches up before nesting season, as well as running various educational and monitoring services.  Not only do they count turtles, but they tag them, and sometimes even place transmitters on them to track their migration around theCaribbean.  Some turtles migrate up to 3500 kilometres away. But when their matting season comes, usually every three years, the return to exactly the same spot where they hatched, often to within 50 metres of the exact spot.

One of the main things people can do to assist is to remove fishing line from the reef, which can trap turtles under the water.  In fact, yesterday, I was able to pick up a pair of scissors for just that purpose.  I hope to spend much of my last four weeks here helping to clean up the reef. I’m also going to pick up a sea turtle t-shirt at BonPhoto next door, where Leo works, to help them raise funds for the turtle research.

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Just before I started to record this, I made an amazing discovery. Cell phones can’t swim! I had just sat down on the dock, and while taking my Android cell phone out of my pocket, managed to dislodge the other local cell phone. It made a rather distinctive “plooop” as it splashed into the water under the dock.  I’ll have to replace that tomorrow.

It’s getting late, so it is time to drive down the coastline towards my own habitat!

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