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Published: July 31st 2018
Sunday July 15 - Today is Sam's last day, and everyone is heading out of camp to hang out. He's one of the marine team that is based in camp here. We left around 10am, but it was delayed due to a tire change of a flat tire on one of the three vehicles. Always expect the unexpected. But Andrew and Clive changed the tire quickly and then we were on our way. I drove with the bat girls and pretty much hated the music choice the whole way. The others all drove together in the van.
Our first stop was the bat cave. It is along the ocean cliffs, and you have to swim around to it, which lent some excitement. We made our way there, and everyone could pretty much stand on the inside of the narrow cave. The fishing bats were a little further back, and we took turns having a look. Lisa brought a net and grabbed a few off the wall for measurements and photos. It was great to see them. They have large feet, for grabbing the fish, and when you release them, you put them back on the wall, feet up and head
down, and they crawl backwards up the wall to resettle themselves. I was glad to get to see them, as we will never catch that type of bats in the net locations we use, but I also felt uncomfortable about it. I think it's fair enough, to some degree, to handle the bats you've caught in nets, but it seems wrong to go into someone's home and grab them up off the wall for no real reason. That should be a safe space. Two of the bats also ended up in the water at the bottom of the cave. Both made it out, but it never should have happened. One flew out and I told everyone at the front of the cave with me to duck, because it is a narrow opening and the bat would be coming back pretty instantly. They did, and it did, and it made it back ok.
From there we headed towards our lunch spot, near where Emma has an experiment going. At this point I was riding in the van with Shelly, and we stopped to pick up Josh and Ian from the whale watching tour. We were quite late arriving, but so
were they, and we saw the boat coming just as we were about to leave. The batmobile had left ahead of us, and they were already at the beach bar before us. It was a new place for me, and they only have one meal - catch of the day with all the fixins - rice, beans, plaintains, salads, you name it. All of us from the van had that, and it was really good. It came to something like $15 US. I'm considering it my special delayed birthday meal.
We stayed there for the rest of the day, though it was after 3pm when we finished eating. We swam in the ocean, some of the others used a paddleboard for a while. Eventually it was 5:30pm and Shelly was getting nervous about driving in the dark, but didn't know how to get back from there, so everyone started to get it together so we could leave. I didn't realize it in advance, but we weren't actually headed home. We were driving Sam to a resort where he would spend his last night, and everyone planned to stay for a drink. It took at least 1.5 hours to get
there, with me and Shelly in the front, and Holly and Jackie in the back. Jackie is the lead scientist and she arrived last night. When we got there, Shelly and I wanted to head home, so we switched cars to the one Andrew and Clive had driven and everyone had to rearrange their things to put them in the right car. Clive came with us and it took until 9pm to get back and park the car. I was the only one with a headlamp, so it took a while for us to cross the river and walk back, so I could light the way for both of them as well. It was nice to be back, though I had missed my chance to talk to Charlotte since it was so late. Last week's kids left and a new batch arrived while we were gone, so she had to stay behind. She was in her tent for the night when we got back.
It was nice to be back to shower off the seawater and rinse out my bathing suit to hang up to dry. The room was warmer than normal, probably because the door was closed all
day. Usually Meagan is there most of the day with the breeze streaming in. I was still reading in bed when Meagan came in at 10:30pm and turned on the lights. She said something about being fast and how she thought I would be passed out by then. I'm still not sure why anyone thinks a light on when someone else is in bed is a good idea, but it happens all the time. I stopped reading and went to sleep, and luckily the others did not turn on the light, though they kept banging the door. Sharing a room with others who have a different schedule is always going to be a shit show.
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