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Update #9 from Naomi

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Friday 15th July – Thursday 22nd July 2022:

Friday was an island changeover day, so I was up early to pack up my belongings (and sort out which items could be left on the island until next week), switch out the night survey kit for the in-water kit, and to pack up our 3 blood samples to take back to the mainland. By about 9am, we were waiting on the rocks ready to be collected by the boat. Once it arrived, we dropped off supplies and bags as necessary, and climbed onboard for another day out on the water. We had another relatively quiet day on the boat, with just 4 juvenile green turtles, 2 of which were too small to tag. At around 1pm, we dropped off the new island team onto the rocks, and then headed back to the mainland. In the afternoon, I centrifuged the 7 blood samples that we had and put them in the freezer, and then washed all my clothes from the island. The following day, I travelled to the south, heading straight to the lab to drop off the blood samples and started processing a batch of bloods, leaving them in the incubator overnight. On Sunday, I finished off the first batch of bloods and then ran a second batch, which meant that I managed to get through all 30 of the blood samples we had in the lab in one day. On Monday morning, I had a quick meeting with my Director of Studies (Dr Clare Embling) – the last one for the time being – to fill her in on the island work and the general state of the project. We had also received another delivery of project supplies, so I went back to the lab and sorted out what needed to stay at SGU and what needed to come back up north with me (2 new coolers and rash guards for the team). After this, I caught an SGU bus into town and did some shopping for the island (mainly food supplies and a few bits for the new camera traps). I managed to fit in 2 dives on Tuesday morning – wreck dives this time! – before being picked up from the SGU University Club at around 2pm and heading back up north. In the evening, I finished packing for the island again, and then headed up to the project house for dinner with the leatherback volunteers. I had to say most of my goodbyes after dinner as the leatherback project would be ending the following Saturday, at which point I would be back out on the remote island. Over the last 5 days, the island team have had 3 more nesting hawksbills during the night surveys (which Kate has already spun down using the island centrifuge), and they have installed the remaining camera traps and some temperature loggers along the beach. Wednesday this week was another changeover day; after loading the boat with additional food / water supplies and personal kit, we picked up the island team for another boat day. This time, we landed 6 green turtles, including 2 adult females and 3 of which were too small to tag, as well as 1 subadult hawksbill. With the bloods heading back to the mainland with Kate, I spent Wednesday afternoon unpacking and settling back into island life, ahead of a busy night survey that evening (3 hawksbills and 1 false crawl!). On Thursday, I hiked to a bay on the other side of the island with one of the local guys; though I really enjoyed exploring the island, it was sad to see how much rubbish and debris has washed up on the eastern side, especially as we don’t have the means to clear it up and dispose of it properly.

‘All research activities by Ocean Spirits Inc. are carried out under governmental research permits provided by the Grenada Fisheries Division.’

On Key

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