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A Visit to the Turtle Hatchery

Feb 9, 2009


Location: Bequia, The Grenadines
Author: Beaks
Today began with my favourite breakfast – cereal, and Reese and Monika also made some cheese on toast. This was followed by an Oceanography class on geology – including an explanation on why the Caribbean Islands exist. We then shuttled ashore to meet Fat Man Taxi, who drove us to the Old Hegg Hatchery, to visit Brother King and his Turtles. The Hatchery is on a beautiful beach, and the drive over is also very scenic. Brother King explained his life passion to us and we listened to his stories. A few of us then walked along the intertidal zone of his shoreline and discovered some interesting finds – two perfect crab moults (both male and female), a chiton shell, 3 tiny sergeant major fish, boring urchins with interesting mouthparts (Aristotle’s Lanterns). These impromptu classes are what I enjoy most about teaching marine biology here in the Caribbean, a stroll down the beach can easily turn into a class!andlt;br /andgt;Back in town everyone was given some free time to continue to check out Bequia, Annie and I returned to the boat for lunch. Annie spent some time working on her research project – her group is looking at whether the stories are true, that after being grated up a sponge is able to reform, as it lacks any specialized tissues and organs. So far one species has managed it! But there is still more data to collect.andlt;br /andgt;I then enjoyed a quiet afternoon on board, catching up with some work before everyone came back at 16:30, for shower time, during which some perfected their back flips of the boat. Dinner was great, thanks to Reese and Monika, tortellini and salad – with some delicious local avocados. After dinner everyone took their fish and invert identification quiz, proving that they are now ready for some Reef Check surveys in St Lucia, our next destination. We wound down to Ocean World from the Blue Planet. Another good scientific day in Bequia.andlt;br /andgt;