Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jag Walk - Strange Sightings

Without having been on one, my first thoughts on the jag walk were: Good grief, I might die. After feeling the weight of my bag pre-jag walk my first thoughts were: Good grief, I am DEFINITELY going to die! 15 miles is daunting to say. The least anyone is right to feel is nervous, perhaps a little bit scared…and a big bit excited.

The big day came: armed with animal shaped welsh cakes, and a whopping 37 litres of water between us; we were set to go and at the very social hour of 5am, off we went.

The first 6 miles we were robust – drenched but robust. With the help of various genres of music, dancing (from Yannie BOOM BOOM BOOM, TAKE YOUR MONEY as well as Lizzy “I’ll pop a cap in your butt” Ames) and general mischief. We made it 4 miles more to mile 10 and lunch. Our animal cakes didn’t disappoint; 30 minutes later and we were off again.

The magic mile marker 11 yielded 2 spectacular sightings, first of which was what appeared to be a very hectic and/or confused half moon. The tracks came up like a regular track, would then wiggle around and then appear to burrow underground for a good few metres just to reappear again and head off to sea. After determining that it wasn’t a) a fight between a victorious turtle and a jag or b) a new species of mole-turtle; I realized I was looking at my very first (and very out of season) leatherback nest. Post diagnosis it all made sense: the location mid-beach, the buried nest and the irregular tracks. After a few snapshots we reluctantly left the scene.

The second sighting came shortly – upon spotting the elusive creatures, Alex yelled: Jag! Jag! Lizzy, jubilant at realizing what she saw, was also yelling while the rest of the unlucky ones hurried up to the site and right enough there they were: 2 fresh jaguar prints. From that moment on, Alex (whose birthday was in 2 days) dubbed them as ‘Birthday Jags’.

Motivated by our luck, the last 4 miles flew by and we’d reached Tortuguero and the end of the survey. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of having finished a 15 mile walk; jubilant, relieved, a sense of pride…and extreme hunger! Nothing a large sandwich and a pie in Tort can’t fix!

-Yannie Cheung, Intern



Anonymous said...

Hey Yannie. Hope you're having a wonderful trip so far!

- Adam