Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday May 25

Todays lecture was on island biogeography and then, later in the afternoon we made a trip the National Forest Reserve here on the island. We were led on our hike by the only female tour guide on the island. Over the course of our two hour hike in and then out of the jungle, we saw two types of snakes, a lot of birds including the white-tailed sabrewing (endemic to Tobago which means it is found here and no where else in the world), butterflies, plants (heliconia or “lobster claw”, bamboo, giant trees, an autograph fruit tree) and so much more. Tired, dripping with sweat, yet satisfied and excited we emerged from the forest, and to our delight, there was an ice cream truck waiting for us near our car (apparently it was the brother of our guide and undoubtedly a ploy they use again and again on tourists). Most of us got a giant scoop of peanut butter coconut ice cream.
Everyone on the trip really wants to see sea turtles nesting (including myself and Dr. L), but the problem is they don’t come onto the beaches until it is dark (usually well after 11:30pm). Dr. L decided to postpone class on Tuesday morning (until 1pm) so we could over to Pirate’s Bay and Fort Campleton Bay to hunt for mother turtles dropping off eggs. As a result everyone went into town to “lyme” until it was 11:30pm. We walked around a bit and decided on the pier as the hang out spot. At first we were distracted by some fish swimming in the clear water, but then we say a huge ray swimming all around the pier that we followed for a while. Soon we attracted attention (not because we were loud, but because we stick out as tourists) and Squeezy and Cureem found us. Squeezy broke out his guitar and started playing for us, We all started dancing and laughing. Squeezy handed his guitar off to Ben and then he started serenading us with some good 90’s rock.
The sea turtle hunt turned out to be a bust (the locals tell us its because you need to see the “Turtle Star” in the sky and if it is too cloudy and it is obscured, no turtles will come onto land). However, we had a great time and at least for me, the dancing has caused some people in the town to start calling me “Dancer Girl”. I wonder what nicknames will surface for the students in the class.

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