Saturday, May 23, 2009. Season Preparations
I arrived in Cyprus on Monday 18th May. I wanted to come to Cyprus early before the volunteers arrive to make preparations in the Goat Shed, but also to enjoy some peace and quiet in this lovely spot at Alagadi. The Goat Shed garden had gone to ruin with weeds and grass everywhere, but on further inspection I was pleased to see remnants of plants that we put in last season. I was particularly glad to see a tell tale stump emerging from the grass, a Frangipani, which I received for my birthday last year and after some watering a few leaves are now beginning to show! The interior of the Goat Shed was looking good, with none of the vermin that we saw last season thanks to a thorough scrub down by the team on leaving last October. Keco who owns the building had been keeping checks and had also kindly trimmed some of the shrubs that were getting out of hand. A few dead lizards lurking in the water tank have now been fished out so we have running water and electricity, although all of the light bulbs needed replacing. Due to problems with damp I have been stripping and sealing the concrete walls ready for painting, but I havenít started with paint yet. Iím going to leave some of the big jobs for when volunteers arrive.
I picked up the car Tofas and checked the north coast beaches between Alagadi and Kaplica yesterday and found no activities. A bit early yet. However this morning I found two U-turns on Alagadi 1. Extremely likely that they were from the same female and maybe she will nest over the next few days. So this marks the start of the season and with a green activity so early I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that we will see another big year for greens as was the case last season. Although obviously it would be nice to see more loggerheads too.
The Tofas seems ok but I doubt she will last the season and she has already had one costly visit to the garage. So we are looking to purchase a new car in the very near future. Many thanks to Friends of SPOT (Society for Protection Of Turtles) for their fund raising work which has produced the funding, to enable us to purchase this essential new vehicle. And a huge thank you to the many visitors who took part in night watches and excavations.
With 3G Internet now available we have gone online. This should facilitate a much better communication system between Alagadi and the public to keep people informed on turtle activities and events. I decided to set up this blog so that there is a central point of information, to keep people informed. And also for friends and relatives of all of the volunteers.
The first volunteers arrive on Tuesday 26th May and by the first week of June we will be 10 strong. I imagine we will start night work in the first or second week of June and will be encouraging visitors to join us on night watch excursions from the middle of the month. As always the timings are turtle dependant so keep an eye on the blog to see what is going on. Do come down to the information centre any time for a cup of tea and a chat. At the moment there is even a slice of fruit cake that my mother packed me off with but you will have to get in quick. As always, bookings for night watch need to be made in person from the Alagadi info centre. Night watch is free but we do encourage donations. Robin Snape.
Sunday, May 24, 2009. Nest??
I checked Alagadi this morning and found a green activity on Alagadi 2. Innitially I was certain that this was a nest, but on further inspection and after probing the sand with a stick for half an hour and working up a blister, I found no eggs so recorded this as an attempt. The same female as the previous night last night on A1 I am certain as all of the tracks I measured were between 73 and 75cm. This is the span between the marks left by the hind flippers as the turtle pushes itself along the sand. Off to the South (Greek) side of the island today to see a friend who works down there as a teacher. Making the most of my free time before things get busy. Robin Snape
This page is a mirror of a blog written by volunteers from the Marine Turtle Research group. Information about the MTRG can be found here.