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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hello everyone.
It's the end of the semester! Kater has taken one of her five finals and is studying hard for the others now. It's been a weird and rainy week. As I sit now it's pouring again. We (John and I) went through all the car business and we now officially have a car! Its a '94 Toyota Caldina... never heard of it? Well, neither have we. I believe it's basically a Corolla build, just named different for a different country. Most cars here are from Europe or Asia, not the US. Anyway we haven't driven it much, I'll probably take it out for a spin tomorrow just for kicks and to get out of the dorm. We have one more week before we move into our West Farm apartment, so that is exciting, except we'll have to pack everything up soon- which means I'll have to pack everything up so Kater can study. Good thing our car is a station wagon with a lot of space in the back... That will come in handy.
I took Kater out to Majors Bay with Jules to relax after her first test. We had fun, Jules was awesome and had a really good time. This pic is a great one, showing off how happy Jules was.
She swam with both of us, and every time she got out of the water she would roll around in the sand and get covered, what a goof ball.
We got back and had a nice taco dinner with our friends, probably the last time I'll see any of them for more than a few hours all week. Everyone will be so stressed about the tests and worried about making it into next semester... Lots of anxiety.

This morning I went out to take the garbage and recycling out, and stumbled upon this centipede:
This, is a small one, so I'm told. It is very common on the island for these things to get well over eight inches longs, and I've hear up to a foot. You can see by my hand that this is about five to six inches... These guys can really pack a punch if they bite. For someone with a bee sting allergy there is a significant risk if bitten. For anyone else, several days of discomfort with a very sore, stinging bite site. I'll keep my distance.

Thats going to be it for tonight. Look forward to some pictures of both of us once we make it through finals week- we will have a whole week to play before going to the states for a week.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hi everyone.

Been a while yet again. Seems like each time I post, it's been a little longer since the last one. One of the biggest hang ups has been lack of photos. Seems the blog has less appeal without some nice pictures to accompany the words... This time there are a few.

Firstly, as of last post, my family was down to visit. We had a great week. I showed them all our (Kater and me) favorite spots to eat and swim and everything else.
A photo above of TJ, Sarah, and me, at Majors Bay just before a snorkel.
Like I said the week went really well, but went by fast as they always do.

In the past few weeks I've gotten the 'job' of looking after Jules, a 4 year old boxer several times a week for "adventure day." The owner asks that I take her out for activity for a few hours twice a week. I take Jules to the beach, and sometimes we go for long walks or runs. I've had a lot of fun with her and have grown rather attached already! It's a great way to spend part of my week.
Last week Kater and I spend at Jules' house, house sitting while the owner was off island to see family. She has a beautiful home in Half Moon Bay, and we took a few pictures to share!
This picture here, is of me and Jules in the owner's pool on the deck. We had just gotten back from a walk in the hot sun and wanted a dip.
Happy dog!
Time to dry off!
She's a beautiful girl, and incredibly well behaved. Just about all the time she can be an off leash dog. When I take her to the beach she stays right with me and we can run and swim and she just loves it. I really have a lot of fun with her.

More recently, I have applied for a scholarship to the Bermuda Turtle Project, an international in-water course for the biology and conservation of marine turtles. That's a mouthful. If I'm accepted I will spend August 1st-13th in Bermuda learning about in-water capture, tagging, and data collection, and more on sea turtles. This will benefit the St. Kitts sea turtle project, as I will take these skills and apply them to our in-water tagging and data collection efforts. I have been chosen (and volunteered) to take over lead on the current in-water efforts, as the leaders will be leaving the island at the end of this semester. They have been involved during their stay here and it's time for someone new to take over.
They (Steve, and Troye) have been teaching me what they do to collect the information on our turtles. I have been on several dives, as I have written about many times. Newly, however I have been taking lead on the capture, meaning that I am first to attempt the capture and then swim it out of the water for tagging. I caught my first hawksbill last week, and another today!
Last week, I was given the responsibility of swimming in the first turtle caught by Steve, and clipping the tags onto the turtles fins. I caught the next one for practice, as it had previously been tagged sometime before. It was fun all the same! Today we swam in Ballast Bay, and I caught the first, and swam it in. It also had been tagged a long time ago, but it's good to take down the numbers so we know where it was caught last and what its measurements were at that time. Today, Steve taught me how to do a blood draw on the turtle. I made my attempt but was unable to attain any blood. Troye tried next but she also didn't have any luck.
We try to reduce the amount of time the turtle is out of the water, and at this point we had it out for almost ten minutes and decided that was long enough, so I returned him to the water.

Right now, Kater is off walking the beaches with the beach team. They walk beaches at night to look for the nesting leatherback turtles. She just texted me a message saying that they have found their first one!
This is a good picture of one (not ours) digging a nest. This species can grow over 1000 lbs... imagine walking up on that on the beach! Go Kater!!!