Monday, July 21, 2008

Half Moon at the Full Moon

This past Friday night was a lovely full moon and some of our patrols headed out to Half Moon Bay on the east coast of Antigua to meet up with the 2nd Antigua Boys Brigade. Half Moon Bay is one of our monitored turtle nesting beaches, and the boy scouts had planned one of their summer camping trips hoping to help out with turtle patrols. Their leader, Mr. Campbell Coates, is a member of the EAG and was keen to get his young recruits involved in turtle watching. The scouts would help out by walking the beach at intervals throughout the night, checking for signs of turtle nesting - tracks, new nests, or if we were lucky, a nesting hawksbill turtle. Donald, one of our volunteer patrollers and I arrived at Half Moon Bay a little before sun down and we could see the scouts setting up camp on the far end of the beach. There were about 18 young boys, all clearly excited to be spending the night out there. We gave a short talk on turtle nesting and then set out on our second patrol with some of the boys. Even though they had asked questions before they were all keen to know exactly what we were looking for. Almost none of these boys had ever seen a turtle before.
We couldn't help but be amused as these 14 year old kids addressed each other as "Sargeant" and "Private" during the patrols and then called for a retreat every time they neared the old hotel ruins. Later that night our scouts' Leader, Campbell found a hawksbill nest that we had missed that had probably been deposited just two nights before. I guess that's why he's the leader! There were no turtles to be seen that night but it looked like everyone had a good time exchanging tales under the full moon and braving the darkest corners of Half Moon Bay.
We'll look forward to seeing these scouts again!

No comments: