Friday, February 18, 2011

Birthday on Base

The 24th of January was an eventful day in Jalova. The day started off with surveys as usual, with lunchtime seeing the first excitement of the day with cake. The cakes were to celebrate my 21st birthday and it was an awesome cake; cake in the face is also apparently a Spanish tradition. More celebrations were had at dinner with everyone dressing up in their bed sheets for a toga party, with fresh lime punch and fun on the beach (see photo). A toga party by the Caribbean Sea is a pretty good way to celebrate a birthday.

Later that night I was part of a group that went out on a night walk down the South Trail. The walk started off as normal until just over half way down when eye shine was spotted in the vegetation. We didn’t know what it was at first but when we got more powerful torches on it we saw the shape of a cat’s head. There was no doubt in our mind about what we had seen; the first jaguar sighting of phase. We returned to base with our exciting news to be told there had been turtle hatchlings on the beach. The nest had erupted under a group who were sitting on the beach. The news of the jag sighting meant that a few others wanted to go back down the trail to try and see one the elusive Jaguars, when we returned to where the first sighting had been we quickly found eye shine. As it moved closer towards us, what we had initially thought to be the jag again turned out to be a Red Brocket Deer. Earlier in the day we had seen both deer and jaguar tracks in the mud behind base; they looked fresh. It is possible that we had seen both a deer and a jag due to the jag stalking the deer.
A very exciting and eventful day.