Week 2 on Isla del Coco
Week 2 on Isla del Coco. I have settled in more and started to get more involved. In the time I have been here, three people have left, and six new people have arrived for their time on the island. The group changes and rotates all the time which means I am getting to meet and work with lots of new people here. A group arrived who are monitoring the mammals on the island. There are two volunteers who are researching an insect and its effect on the indigenous trees. It’s all very interesting to talk to them about, and to get to explain my surveys to them as well.
Different jobs throughout the week
There has not been as much diving this week, just one day of diving right at the beginning. And this was the first dive since being here that I have seen completely bleached corals. I saw four in one dive. I hate seeing bleached and dead corals, but I know that I can record it on my survey. Because of not diving this week, I have been helping out more around the island. Things like maintenance, raking leaves off the grass and the paths, and traveling to Chatam Bay. With the two Bomberos and a ranger, Eduardo, we tidy the other building up that we have there. We were cutting the grass with machetes, raking the paths, cutting down branches and re-hanging the power lines. We also lay old fishing nets over the wooden bridge to make it less slippery for people doing the trail and dug out the drainage ditch that carries the rain water to the river.
A day to chill
Sundays are my day off as a volunteer. This Sunday though I went with some of the Rangers to help clear out the dam. We dug sand and leaves out and drained out mud. We then walked up to the Rio Genio waterfall to take photos and have a swim, it was really really beautiful.
More conservation work to be done…
I have been getting more involved with the conservation work this week, entering surveys into the 2018 data base. It’s not the species abundance data I have been collecting. It’s the surveys we hand out to the divers that come in on the liveaboards. It asks them questions about their diving, their experience on the boat, of the island and national park itself. Also some general information. This is a long process with lots of numbers and multiple choice questions. It is interesting to see though, what different people thought of the different dive sites. So far Roca Sucia is the clear favourite!!
Enjoying the quiet
I am getting used to the quiet here and entertaining myself during the free time towards the end of the afternoon. It was a little tricky at first, but I’m keeping myself busy in the late afternoon and evening with reading and sudokus. Lots of sudokus. Definitely not used to, and will never be used to the spiders in my room though.
I have less than three weeks left here now, and I am really hoping to see a Tiger Shark and a Manta Ray. So fingers crossed for those! I also want to see plenty more Box Fish and Hammerheads (my absolute favourites). I am heading out diving again tomorrow, this time with the Okeanos I liveaboard, and I am very excited to get back out monitoring again!!