As I mentioned in a previous post, olive ridleys are not the first sea turtle to be satellite tracked in Gabon. Collaborators at seaturtle.org, the Marine Turtle Research Group and Wildlife Conservation Society have been tracking leatherback sea turtles for the last several years - and have found that they cross the entire Atlantic Ocean!
Well, it looks like today I am off to Mayumba at long last. Thankfully, a bush taxi through the entire country won't be necessary, but it will still be a long trip.
George Shillinger reports on a birthday outing with the Cerveza 2:
Following four back-to back runs on three different vessels, I was craving some rest but anxious to finish the tagging work with our team in Greymouth. I had already extended my trip and could not afford to stay any longer.
It's Wednesday and I'm still in Libreville, so it seems like a good chance to tell you a little about life here - for me and the Gabonese.
Gabon is an amazingly beautiful country but travel and logistics can be challenging to say the very least. I'm still in Libreville but thankfully, however, my equipment has arrived and I can start making plans to get to my field site. This year we had planned for Dan Costa to come and join me in the field but logistics fell apart as they often do: flights are currently not running to Mayumba (the town closest to my field site), the flight to the next nearest town has also been cancelled, the ATV used to reach the field site has broken, as has the WCS truck in Mayumba.
Pete Saul reports on his back to back trip on Cova Rose. It was a quick turn-around with only a few hours ashore. The charter was three enthusiastic south Australians who wanted to land a fish only if it was a potential world record.
Although it was difficult to leave my colleagues and the crew behind on the Cova Rose, it was exciting to board the Cerveza 2 again and to rejoin Captain Larry Johnston, his crew, and the Greymouth Guzzlers (4Gs).
Hopes were high for a successful conclusion of the pop-up satellite tagging in the second week. To maximize our tag deployment efforts, George Shillinger (see his blogs #3 and 5) transferred to the Cerveza 2, leaving Pete, Tim, and John to continue with working with the Cova Rose. As both teams prepared to depart, the weather had cleared again allowing the boats to leave the port of Greymouth on schedule.
If it swims, flies, walks or climbs, researchers are likely presenting data on its habits and haunts this week at the Third International Biologging Science Symposium. TOPP and the Tag-A-Giant Foundation are co-hosting the 200+ person meeting at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California.