Volunteering

20
March
2014

Kevin the Ketchup Licker and Friends

Spicy-Ketchup-Licker

Over the years, and during many months living on research bases throughout the world, I have learned that roommates come in all shapes and sizes. Big ones, small ones, messy ones, clean ones, friendly ones, rude ones, and I am sure we have all had the occasional strange one before. I certainly have. But none so strange as the roommates I have found myself living with on Cousin Island.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Volunteering

14
March
2014

Turtle Season has ended: Turtle bloopers!

turtle emerge

All island managers and conservationist can now take a sigh of relief as the turtle season comes to an end.

After a busy season of patrolling beaches there is something very satisfying in looking back over the seasons data and finalizing it ready for writing the annual turtle report. As I look back over the season there are some turtles that stand out in my memory, I will tell you about these turtles and their interesting stories.

Categories: Turtles, Conservation, Research, Volunteering, Nature People

19
February
2014

A wave of new life

Turtle hatchlings emerge from a nest on Cousin Island

trail-blazer

It started slowly at first. Sporadic, barely perceptible ripples of movement disturbed the otherwise dormant oasis of sand. Like a symphony rising to its crescendo, the bubbling beach was building our anticipation before revealing its secret. There was something beneath the surface and it was fighting its way out.

We had timed it perfectly. With the help of orange marker tape and GPS coordinates marking the location we had found the small patch of sand easily enough. But, that was no guarantee that the nest, so dutifully laid by a critically endangered hawksbill turtle, would hatch in the small window of time we were there. Sitting between beach markers E and F on Cousin Island we were about to become the lucky onlookers to one of those unique spectacles that nature occasionally bestows upon the fortuitous few.

Categories: Turtles, Conservation, Volunteering, Nature People

06
February
2014

Liam has the post Cousin Island blues...

Liam cousin post

It's cold, it's midnight here in London and I'm arriving home after 80 days of island life. I've had to put on my woollen jumper and jacket that haven't been touched in months, that I flew all the way to Cousin Island to leave in a cupboard and then brought all the way back with me just for this occasion, these few hours to get me home from the airport. The smell of soot, rain and tarmac fills my nostrils and the permanent orange glow of UK streetlights are so familiar that in my sleep-deprived state I genuinely wonder if I've imagined the last eleven weeks. The coach driver outside the airport is predictably grumpy and welcomes me on board with a murmur. I'd be pretty grumpy too if I lived here and not on an island paradise, I think to myself 

Categories: Conservation, Research, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Seabirds

21
January
2014

Moved by Nature

A Volunteer's account of her time on magical Cousin

Cousin vista Lindsey

It’s no secret that the Seychelles and Cousin Island in particular hold a special place in my heart.  When I first came to volunteer on Cousin three years ago, I fell in love with everything about the island (except perhaps the mosquitoes!): the multitude of birds flying over the island at dawn, breathtaking sunsets where the whole sky lights up in various shades of orange, pink and purple, skinks and geckos galore, being able to hear the push and pull of the ocean waves wherever you go on the island and of course, George the giant land tortoise.  So it’s no surprise that when I was given the opportunity to return to Cousin to volunteer for a month, I jumped at it immediately.  Although the magic of the island hasn’t changed much at all, my volunteer experience was quite different this time as it was sea turtle nesting season instead of endless birds.  

Categories: Conservation, Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife

17
October
2013

There's a crab in the kitchen what am I gonna do?

Liam, a volunteer on Cousin describes life on the island

Liam Cousin

I've been on Cousin Island for a week now and I'm completely in awe of it. It is awesome. I never use the word awesome, because the ubiquitous use of it has completely belittled its purpose and made it really annoying. There's no point saying something is awesome when you're talking about a frozen pizza. In this instance though, I reckon the word is justified.

Categories: Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife

07
October
2013

Turtle season commences

Turtle monitoring

Come September island managers and conservationists all over the Seychelles begin to prepare for the exciting onslaught of the Hawksbill turtle-nesting season. The females start to emerge in September, but nesting begins in earnest in October with a peak throughout November and December. The nesting decreases throughout January and February with the last nest usually recorded early March.

Categories: Conservation, Research, Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife

29
July
2013

Just Back from Paradise - Part 3

A volunteer writes about her Cousin experience

Sally Fisher spent a month volunteering on Cousin Island in April 2013. We continue with part two of this three part blog post where she shares about work, wildlife and island life...

trip to praslin

Trip to Praslin

In the afternoon, we head to Praslin for supplies. Despite the heat and sunshine, the wind is up and the sea is choppy today.The boat bounces over the incoming waves. I concentrate on the sea, anticipate a big drop and relax my mouth so my upper and lower jaws don’t crash together. The boat hits the sea like fibreglass on concrete. We rise on the next huge wave, smashing into the dip beyond and I feel my brain hitting the sides of my skull.

Categories: Volunteering

25
July
2013

BACK FROM PARADISE - Part 2

A volunteer writes about her Cousin experience

Sally Fisher spent a month volunteering on Cousin Island in April 2013. We continue with part two of this three part blog post where she shares about work, wildlife and island life...

wardens push boat

Arrival of the Tourists

We head back to base. It’s coming up to 9.30am, when my job is to welcome tourists to the island. The experience for tourists starts at sea, as catamarans, speed boats and sailing boats gather off the shore of Cousin.

The Wardens are lounging around in hammocks, texting girlfriends and chattering amongst themselves waiting for the morning’s work to begin. They head to the beach.

Categories: Volunteering, Nature People

12
July
2013

Back from Paradise

A volunteer writes about her Cousin experience

sally-fisher

Sally Fisher spent a month volunteering on Cousin Island in April 2013. In this three part blog post she shares about work, wildlife and island life...

Sunrise

It’s time to wake up for the six o’clock shot. I’ve quickly learnt that this half hour of exquisite skies before the sun peaks out over Praslin is the best time of day; a cool, tranquil time to enjoy a cup of tea. I am a new fan of mornings! I’ve copied an idea of a friend of mine to take a photo at exactly the same time, same place each day.  The resulting “Sunrise Over Praslin” series will soon become a stunning memory of my month in paradise.

Categories: Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife

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