Sunday, August 18, 2013

Late nights early mornings and lazy days.

Imagine you are buried in the sand several body lengths down and you have just been born. Well I have spent a night or two on the beach at the North end of Grenada where 63 nights earlier a leatherback had dragged herself out of the sea, dug her nest and laid her eggs.

The little guys made it to the surface and the guardians of the beach watched for frigate birds and mongoose and all the others who come to feast. A minute or twos rest and they are off to the water. The nesting population is on the increase in the Eastern Caribbean but this is in marked contrast to the pacific population whch has crashed and there are no signs of recovery. Some beaches which used to have 1000+ nest per anum are down to single digit numbers.

The beach watchers are most locals now but at carnival time there is always a demand for the odd stand in so there I was walking the beach and checking the known nests.
I still made it into to St Georges for the madness that is Jab Jab where young men and the odd girl cover themselves in used engine oil and run through the streets wearing viking helmets.
Then it was Pretty Mas where the girls get their carnival parade costumes on and strut their stuff.


  1. Turtles:One problem in Asia was conservation. They collected the eggs and kept them all at the same temperature resulting in all of the hatchlings being the same sex (MALE). Duh!!!
    Yes they need to stop long nets and other fishing techniques. But before they start interfering with nests they need to sort out the hundred other things that affect the population.

    1. The problem in the Caribbean was that other than a food source the leatherback eggs were seen as a powerful aphrodisiac especially if taken from living turtles.

      So they would drive a truck onto the beach turn the turtle upside down and tow it up to the road. There she would be cut open and the eggs sold when warm.