Another update from Naomi! The MReS student from Plymouth University who is out in Grenada, working with Ocean Spirits and St George’s University in Grenada. We funded Naomi and this project which kicked off a few months ago. Make sure you check out our previous news items and are following us on social media to ensure your up to date!
Friday 27th May – Thursday 2nd May 2022:
After a bumpy ride through the rainforest, I safely arrived at the Ocean Spirits base in the north of the island. Very shortly after arriving, Kate (Project Manager and Coordinator for Ocean Spirits) received a call about a green turtle stranding nearby, so we immediately ventured out to find it, and performed a necropsy to determine the cause of death. In the evening, I was shown around Kate’s house (where I will be staying during my time with Ocean Spirits) and the project house, which is situated just opposite and houses the leatherback research volunteers. The project house has a beautiful view of the islands from the balcony, and is where we usually eat a vegetarian dinner. Saturday and Sunday were spent settling in, and working with Kate to get the sampling data from the 2021 blood samples. From Monday, I began my field training by participating in night patrols for the long-term leatherback sea turtle programme that Ocean Spirits have been running since 2001, alongside the research volunteers and Grenadian supervisors. The night patrols run from 20:00 until 06:00 every night, so we are lucky enough to see the sunrise on a regular basis. After three shifts, I’ve seen seven leatherbacks as well as the season’s first few hatchlings! The rest of my free time during the week has been spent exploring the local area, beaching, hiking, and swimming in waterfalls. We are still waiting for most of our research supplies to arrive in Grenada before we can head out to camp on the remote uninhabited island (the hawksbill nesting site), but we are hoping to start our in-water work next week – fingers crossed!