After a hectic 24 hours in Perth, I made the trek up the coast to Gnaraloo on Sunday and Monday, arriving late Monday afternoon. My first impression? This place is wild, and truly is special. I feel pretty lucky to get to spend four months in this unique corner of the world surveying the beaches for nesting sea turtles. I’ll never get tired of the colours and contrasts of the WA coast!
I was fortunate to run into Mike Butcher of Animal Pest Management Services (APMS) in Carnarvon as he helped me pack up some supplies (actually, he rescued me because there was no way I was fitting all of the food from our first order in an already packed ute) and we drove in tandem up to Gnaraloo, with Mike acting as my personal tour guide via UHF radio. I was greeted at Gnaraloo by former Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP) Scientific Interns Careena Crossman and Andrew Greenley, who are lead our turtle track interpretation training, as well as the 2015/16 Scientific Interns: Kimberly, Alistair (Skip), Nick and Mel. We’re an international lot, and it’s been fun getting to know everyone during the first few days of our time here. It’s also been great chatting with Gnaraloo Station staff over a couple of communal dinners – many more of those to come!
Being somewhat behind schedule (due to visa and subsequent travel delays), the next few days were full-on, as I caught up on turtle track training with Andrew, Careena and the rest of the team, and started to learn the ropes of life at Gnaraloo. Now that everyone’s onsite, we’re starting to develop our routines, working through the various training programs and getting ready for the start of fieldwork on 1 November 2015.
Jordy Thomson (GTCP Program Assistant)