During our volunteer program we were obligated to work 5 days a week and had days off over the weekends. Every weekend we were trying to explore as much as we could by going into different parts of Costa Rica, usually hitchhiking or busing.
First weekend we’ve decided to spend in a nearby town San Juanillo. Where we went hitchhiking. We split into two groups, three people each, and caught rides both ways very fast.
San Juanillo is a small village few kilometres away from Ostional. It’s big enough to have a restaurant and one bar for not only locals but also for a few tourists.
Our boss – Jairo from the station, organised with his friend to take us on a boat around the bays to see ‘flying’ manta rays. It was also, the very first time we saw loras – adult female turtles.
Unfortunately, it was too hard to capture flying manta rays as they were jumping out very fast and it was almost impossible to spot them on time and take a quick picture at the same time. Manta rays that do jump out of the water are called devil rays. Apparently, it’s still a mystery for scientist why do they perform those jumps. Some believes that they are trying to get rid of parasites.
Second week of work at the station was much more pleasant than the first one. Excavations were over and now most of our days we were looking out for hatching nests and make sure predators such as vultures or dogs won’t hurt them.
During the days we were also responsible for beach clean up and being educated on how plastic is ruining marine life and how many species are affected by ocean pollution.
Together with Heather, we were mostly responsible for putting collected data into the system. It was my favourite task as from day one I was fascinated with all of the gathered data and how different factors were affecting the whole process of lying eggs by loras.
At that stage we haven’t had a chance to work with an adult turtle yet, but we have already known most of the factors that were important while measuring loras.
There is still so many unanswered questions regarding Sea Turtles, where they mating, why are they always coming back to the exact same beach to lay their eggs and how do they find it after so many years? There is still so much mystery around sea creatures, I think that’s why collecting the data and trying to figure out some possible small answers was so interesting for me.