Island Conservation

Bon Dia and hellooo!

Hey ya’ll!! I can’t believe ‘summer’ is almost over! And by summer I am referring to school starting again…not the end of a season. Because let’s be real…it’s pretty much summer all year 🙂 I am more OK with that than I thought. My head of school asked me recently if this school year went by quickly. And it did honestly. But, it was strange to realize that because for the first time, I have not marked the passage of a school year by the seasons. You teachers out there know what I mean. Being one season all school year has been strange for sure! Anyway, so yeah. School starts back on August 2 and students arrive August 10. Cheers to a new year!

My summer break has been wonderful. I went home to visit my family (in Florida) and drove up to Georgia to see friends and family. It was so nice to spend some quality time with those I love-and I appreciate the moments, as few as they can be, all the more for it. When I returned to the island on July 4, I prepared for Laura’s visit on July 5! Her visit was filled with excitement, stories from our youth, swimming and snorkeling, hiking (well, Laura hiked, I attempted), finding Vegan food, and exploring Dushi Curacao. We celebrated 20 years of friendship! Can you believe it?! I am so fortunate to have her in my life still. I love talking of the past, our presents, and what the future will hold.

All the pictures from her visit are on FB, but here are some highlights!

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The beach at the abandoned hotel. Laura wanted to show how you could just drive your car right up to the water!

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One of my favs of Laura. She was just telling me earlier how much she loves birds and their freedom with flight. Then, we saw this wall art. 

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Proud, contemplative moment as 1) I am afraid of heights and this is the TOP of the fort…and 2) just cause it’s so much Curacao. 

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After Laura left, I had a few days alone before Paul came back home. I did exactly what you thought I would be doing with an empty house and no one to entertain 🙂 Absolutely NOTHING 😉 But that only lasted about 2 days before I was wishing someone was with me. Luckily my friend and co-worked Allison was back on the island and we started a routine morning swim at one of the beaches where they have a ‘lane’ marked. Well, we are making it a lane…not sure that’s the purpose or not! These swims are exciting because I am exercising (booo) but also snorkeling (though at a brisk pace I might add) and seeing amazing fish (yay!) You have seen some of my posts recently on facebook about what I am seeing, but it is most definitely the best part of waking up in the morning to go for a swim. The more I am around the sea, the more she becomes a part of me. You will have to tear me away from this island kicking and screaming…unless perhaps it is to hop to another island. That will be ok sometime in the next few years (hint hint-for those wondering).

While Laura was here we met with the Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao so that I could get involved with that organization. I was hoping to start some volunteer work as it is an especially critical time of the year…nesting season! My first task was to go to Klein Curacao, the ‘small/little curacao’ which is not far from the main island, though with rough seas takes about 1.5 hours to get there. It’s deserted in that no one lives there. With three main tour groups taking several trips a week, it was approved to build facilities for the tours. Palapas, restrooms, etc. This takes up a very small part the beach. The rest is home to lizards, birds, hermit crabs, and flat land. You can find an old light house (that still works) and a couple shipwrecks that were grounded. That’s it!

Right now there is only one turtle nest on the island and that is not a very good sign. We were hoping for more during yesterday’s visit but alas, only the one. We spent the morning walking the perimeter of the island searching for fresh tracks and picking up trash…which let me tell you there was a lot! We only picked up 4 bags of plastic (straws, plastic baggies, shoes, medical waste [ewww], toys, bottles, etc)in about 400 meters of beach. This was especially important where the turtles should come and nest. They can’t nest if they can’t reach the sand! Well anyway, yeah. The morning was tough out in the sun hiking in the sand and collecting trash. We ate lunch and then others (3 others) went to clean more beach while I went snorkeling to try and photo turtles. We are working on making information boards about the sea turtles to post for tourists to learn more about them, including what not to do. Also, this helps everyone get to know the ‘locals’. It was a very long day…6:45 Am to 6:00 PM including travel time. I look forward to other ways I can help sea turtles!

As always, I am still doing coral restoration and working with CARMABI on sharks!
That’s it for me and the little rock I call home.
Ayao!
K + P

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At the Pelican beach on Klein Curacao after a snorkel in unknown waters by myself. I didn’t go very far because the current was strong and again, all by my lonesome. But, it was amazing swimming with NO ONE around, so here is the after shot! My world!

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Klein Curacao. Sand and rocks…some cacti, blue sky…that’s it!

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The cove just at the top of the picture is Pelican beach (you can figure out why it’s named that). I was snorkeling this spot. So lovely and without anyone to disturb. 

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Sail boat in the distance and can you sand land ho? That is Curacao main land. Not too far really. 

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Hard to see, but I LOVE this last stretch of sand/coral before a severe drop off! WHOA!

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SO I nearly deleted this photo because I took it with my ‘go pro’ and not sure why it took like this while the others came out fine. But I thought it looked rather artsy, so I kept it. 

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One of Laura’s photos of the shipwreck on the north side of the island.

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Laura’s photo of the light house. 

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Laura’s photo of the beaches where the boats have their guests. This is it…for the whole island. Really the ocean is just on the other side. Can walk tip to tip the long side in maybe an hour? The short side maybe 30 minutes?

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My first photo attempt to identify a sea turtle. Need to work on it a bit and get more angles. 

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