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Published: August 1st 2018
Wednesday July 26 - Terrible sleep last night, and I woke up feeling like I was getting a cold - sneezy, stuffy nose. Though in hindsight, it could have been allergies. I don't have any known allergies, but it's a new place. After breakfast, I headed out to Champagne Reef with Holly, Emma, Josh and Clive. Clive was looking for an orange butterfly that students had photographed the day before, but didn't have any luck. He searched while the rest of us were in the water. Josh was helping the girls collect data, which required diving down along a transect to take photos of what is present. It's a lot of work. I snorkeled nearby. The reason why the location is called Champagne is because it is a volcanic area, and carbon dioxide bubbles are released in some places. There is one area that has a lot of bubbles, and it looks like you are swimming in a champagne glass. It's pretty cool. Holly told me later that if you put your hand where the bubbles are released, it feels hot due to the hot water being released there. It quickly cools in the seawater around it, so I did not
notice while I was swimming through. I also saw parrotfish and other reef fish, despite the lack of reef, but my favorite were the squid. The name for a group of squid is a squad, and I became enamored of a squad of squid shortly after getting in the water. I followed them around for a while, until I thought I should start looking for the bubbles.
After an hour, we ate our lunches on the beach. Today was sandwich day, and just before I left this morning, Cathius offered me an egg in my sandwich. Finally - there would be something in my sandwich. It's usually nearly empty. It was so nice of him to do that. I had a second sandwich but could not eat it. It was just too gross.
I thought we were leaving after lunch, but the girls still had data to collect, so they were back in the water. I was pretty dry by then, so I decided to stay out and dry a little more. Clive didn't bring a mask and snorkel, so I gave him mine to have a look at the bubbles. I walked around, looking at all the
crabs on the sand and stone cliff walls and on the rocks near the water. Crabs are some of my favorite photography subjects. They're so cool. A group of goats came down the beach and foraged around while I was there, which was fun to watch as well. It was quite hot on the beach, and about the third day in a row that I've seen the sun, so I had a lot of sunscreen on.
We finally left around 2:30pm and the others dropped me off in Roseau and headed up north to Toucarie, another site where they needed to collect data, after a stop for some pizza to go in town. I had to be back before them to set up nets in camp tonight, and I was meeting Tricia in town to get a ride back. Clive decided to go back with me, since it was too late in the day to catch butterflies in Toucarie. I had a smoothie at the Beach Bar and had a chance to talk briefly to Jeroen and my mom. The connection with my mom was poor and Jeroen was solely focused on some wasps that had gotten in our
apartment. I'm usually the one who gets the bugs out, but I couldn't help him, being so far away. I also heard back from the woman who runs the place where I'll be staying next week in Guadaloupe, and she confirmed the car rental guy will be waiting for me when I arrive, and he will be able to help me with directions to navigate to their guesthouse. I'm guessing it will be slightly less manic than driving in Dominica, since it is a part of France. I expect better roads and signage, and it will be more familiar driving on the right side of the road, rather than on the left, as they do here and in St. Lucia.
We left Roseau at 4pm, got gas, and picked up Shelly at Ronnie's fruit stand before getting back to camp. The vulcanology trip got back just before us, and since Meagan was on it, I was not nervous that she would have been sitting around waiting for me to get back to set up the nets. We could not find the key to our place, so we put our stuff down outside and came back. It turned out Jem
had the key from cleaning the room. We did lose our key a couple weeks ago and we've been using the spare. We still need to get a key made in town, but I thought Jackie was doing that. The net set-up was easy, since we were just using the two small nets. The double high is across one of the rivers that I haven't crossed yet, but need to try tomorrow to work there. We'll see how that goes. After setting up, we took turns showering the day off and then checking the nets.
Dinner was pork, which had a great sauce but is almost all fat, which seems quite wasteful. But overall, the meal was still good and it was nice having it at camp again. We didn't catch any bats, but we didn't really expect to. The group seemed happy to stay in camp and chat with us though. After we finished the bat chat, we finished watching Call Me By Your Name. I really like this movie, but I also find it very sad. By the time we finished at 10:45pm, everyone was out of the dining hall. On the way back, we discovered that
they were drinking outside our place, but downstairs, so they could irritate Clive instead of me. He mentioned they were there when he was sleeping last Saturday. Shame they were there again on a Wednesday. I expect next weekend will be bigger, since everyone is leaving from Sunday onward. Either way, I had the place to myself as I got ready for bed, read and fell asleep.
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