Saturday, May 28, 2011


We found a few anis by the western cliffs today. Anis are invasive in the galapagos but I had never seen them on pinta. Always more invasives to worry about.


We found Wilman! he was at a cactus right next to my tent! I must admit he is my favorite and i am so happy to to see him and get his logger. A good day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


On Pinta! We have an awesome camp and we have already seen a few healthy tortoises!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


We're leaving for Pinta tomorrow night! Everything is all set to go and we've just been waiting the last couple of days - not unpleasantly, mostly by spending time in the water. Food purchasing went well, and it seemed like a great deal more than last year, which is good.

I'm feeling somewhat antsy and would just like to be on Pinta now! I'm curious to know what it's like there... I've been hearing that it's been extremely wet here - rivers on the driest islands and such - and I want to know whether Pinta is just a big mud pit too. I must admit that I hope it isn't. All will be revealed by Monday morning!

Monday, May 16, 2011


The team is complete with our safe arrival on Santa Cruz and meeting of Daniel! The trip went extremely smoothly and all of my worries have been put to rest, which is a wonderful feeling. We´re actually going to leave on Sunday now, so we have 2 days to get everything together before we go into quarantine on Thursday. I think that we can do that without too much difficulty.

It is warm and lovely here, and I can´t wait until it gets dark tonight and I can see the stars. We are all tired from our long journey, and now must eat and rest before the work begins.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

And we're off!

In a couple of hours, 4 of us - James, Caity, John, and I - will be leaving Syracuse in a rental car to drive to JFK airport where we will meet Claire. The 5 of us will then fly to Guayaquil over night, have a couple hour layover and then fly to Santa Cruz where we will meet up with Daniel and the team will be complete! I'm very excited, but very anxious, too. At this moment, here are the top 4 scenarios that I'm worried will happen:
1. All of our baggage won't fit into the rental car. It's a large SUV, but it doesn't have a roof rack (as the one I reserved did!) which was the plan for overflow. It may be a tight and uncomfortable 5 hour car ride.
2. The airline won't accept the large and heavy metal cases of equipment we have. I have an email from customer service saying that they would, but you never know...
3. I'll arrive on Santa Cruz, and despite weeks and weeks of diligently (diligently) watching telenovelas, I actually don't know any Spanish. I'm a bit more confident that this one won't happen, but I am anxious about my Spanish.
4. The equipment that I stored on Santa Cruz will have vanished. These are fairly necessary items like tents and the solar panels. I really hope this one doesn't happen. It's a pretty irrational worry, but at this point I can't help but have irrational worries!

Well, we've managed to avert the few little crises so far, let's hope our luck continues.

It's a dreary, rainy day in Syracuse, which makes it easier to leave. Farewell, and I'll write again from Santa Cruz!

Monday, May 9, 2011


I realized that I hadn't checked on the satellite tortoises in a while, and I found out that Javier's transmitter has stopped transmitting. It stopped right after the last time I updated on their movements in March. I hope we're still able to find him - he's been hanging around in an area where many of the other tortoises were hanging out (at least they were last summer) so maybe we'll run into him. It makes me a bit worried about the other devices, though...I hope we don't have any more dead batteries! We'll soon find out...

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Only 10 days until we leave the US! Everything is coming together much more smoothly than this time last year, but there are still plenty of bumps in the road. For instance, the satellite texter that we bought (and I will be making blog posts from!) has arrived, but I am unable to get the software installed needed to make it work (the tech guys with the company say it will take some time to figure out the problem...sigh.). Another thing that arrived recently was a package of about 200 Clif bars - no drinking pasta water this time!

As I alluded to before, we will have a new 5th member of the team! Daniel Lara, a Galapagos native, will be joining us to help us with our work in addition to working on his thesis for his bachelor's degree.

The boat to Pinta will be leaving May 23rd - I can't wait to be outside again and see the tortoises!