Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Day 5: #WhimsicalWednesday

Another sunny day at Topsail Beach...

After a breakfast of cheerios (yet again) and a cloudy sunrise (yet again), we mounted our trusty minivan steeds and drove to the sea turtle hospital to meet our Wednesday volunteers. We headed to our post in Sick Bay to begin our duties. Katie started out by treating some of the amazing turtles and Boots started by bathing the turtles. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we ran out of honey, so the treatments went very quickly today-- we were done by 11:30! (We even beat the volunteers in Sea Turtle Bay, which is rare) Katie's favorite thing was being able to finally hold some of the turtles during treatments. Touching and interacting with these creatures is an extremely unique opportunity. Boots' favorite thing today was touching a green turtle's nose and, strange enough, cleaning the turtle bins with Judy, who was very fun to work with! We had a very good routine going with the other volunteers in sick bay, rotating every three or four turtles, and we were laughing and talking the whole time!

Hopping back into the minivans, we devoured snacks while driving to the south point of the island. The south point has no houses for about a half a mile, providing an excellent setting for an afternoon walk. Many of us pointed out how blue the water was, and we snapped some great pictures. We dipped our feet in the cool water, which felt great on this 80 degree day, and collected shells. Walking up to a tidepool, we noticed a few small crabs. After getting closer, we found hundreds of these little crabs (and we tried not to step on them or get pinched!). On the way back from the beach, we stopped by a couple of cute gift shops, where smoothies and souvenirs were bought. After we returned to the house, we all had some much deserved free time. We fixed and ate sandwiches, baked cookies, sat on the beach, did homework, slept, shopped some more, and prepared for our presentations tomorrow! We'll be presenting turtle facts to about 200 school kids, which should be a great experience.

Around 6:30, we headed to a nearby marsh to watch the sunset. While we saw many interesting creatures, like crabs and oysters, we also saw a lot of trash, reinforcing the reason why we are here-- environmental conservation! We reached the pier, where Nicole showed us a project she worked on her first year on the trip. The students set up ropes with many oysters attached to help filter the waters. Unfortunately, most of the ropes had no oysters left on them, likely because the project was abandoned. We took pictures of the beautiful sunset, and met some fishermen. While we were taking photos, they caught a little puffer fish! We touched it and took pictures of it before they dropped it back into the water. After the sun went down, Danny and Melissa cooked an extravagant and delicious dinner which included sausages, potatoes, salad, guacamole, and more! We reflected on our day during dinner. After we finished our food, we prepared and performed skits about the three aspects of ASB: Education, Community Service, and Reflection. We incorporated a lot of humor into these skits: John, Danny, and Janine called each other about 10 different names (Jose, Janice, and Damian were some of our favorites) and Chloe pretended that it would be a good idea to put a sea turtle in a plastic bag to carry it around (and then proceeded to put the plastic bag over her head). We were cracking up the entire time! Additionally, we practiced our presentations for the children tomorrow, which we are all very excited for. Overall, it was a nice, sunny day and we can't wait to see what tomorrow holds!

Signing off,
Katie & Boots :)
Figure 1. Emma and Mitch send out our message to save the turtles!

Figure 2. Our fearless leaders-- Nicole, Boots, and Mitch (who are almost all matching)-- pose for a picture on the beach.

Figure 3. A lovely panorama of the beautiful waters of the south point beach.

Figure 4. We all get a little crazy after running around on the beach.

Figure 5. Our unique encounter with a puffer fish was captured on camera.

Figure 6. We all enjoyed the perfect sunset!

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