The adventure begins!
On the 16 October 2015, once we all managed to find each other within the town of Carnarvon, we met Allan, the current mechanic at Gnaraloo. There was anticipation in the air for the drive up to Gnaraloo Station. We packed the ute with our bags and supplies and made our way out of town for the 125km drive north. On the journey, we stopped by the famous “King Waves Kill” sign and visited the blowholes that accompany it. Travelling further along the dirt track, we began to realise the remoteness of our home for the next five months! When we arrived at Gnaraloo, Allan took us straight up to the Homestead to meet Colleen, the Homestead Manager. She handed over the keys to our new homes – cabins on the edge of the hill overlooking the dunes and crashing waves – and we were in awe! The four of us (Kim, Mel, Nick and Alistair (Skip)) sat down on our patio and watched the first of what will be many amazing sunsets, thinking about how lucky we are to be here.
On the second day, we faced a major decision: whose cabin would get our sole hammock (the ladies won). In the meantime, Careena and Andrew – previous GTCP interns who would train us in turtle track interpretation – began their drive up from Perth. As well as the big hammock decision, we took time to think about the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP) and discuss what we hoped to contribute to the program and gain from the experience. Listening to everyone’s previous tales from other projects, it became clear that we are a well-travelled and versatile team. In the afternoon, Allan took us down to Gnaraloo Bay (where we will be conducting our surveys) for a swim and look around. It was our own personal beach with not another soul in sight. Again the discussion led back to how lucky we are to have been recruited to intern in this environment. It was perfect!
Nick Goldsmith (Technical Intern)