Leatherbacks at last!
Trip Start May 01, 2010
90Trip End Apr 30, 2011
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Where I stayed
A short hop on a boat taxi from Almirante took us to Bocas town on Isla Colon. This is the largest and most populated island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago which comprises six large islands and hundreds of tiny atolls and coralline keys. Bocas town has a lively Caribbean vibe. Situated on a peninsula, it is surrounded on three sides by water
The next morning we joined an all day boat trip. First stop was Dolphin Bay where we saw lots of dolphins. They come here to eat the abundant jellyfish that gather in the bay. Then we stopped at Crawl Key for an overpriced lunch but great snorkelling amongst the soft corals. Next stop was Red Frog Beach, a stunning stretch of sand with turquoize water. The beach gets its name from the small red dart frogs that live in the jungle behind the beach. Unfortunately, local children had been catching the frogs to show to tourists in the hope that the tourists will give them a few dollars to take a photo. We were both concerned as some of the frogs did not look well and the children were keeping them moist with sea water! Our final stop was a quick snorkel at Hospital Point which was not that great for coral but did have some interesting marine life and a big drop off into the deep.
After a delicious dinner at a restaurant called Lemongrass, we hooked up with some other people we had met and took a 30 minute taxi ride to Bluff Beach, a nesting site for leatherback turtles. Upon arrival we met a couple of guides and set off along the beach in he dark
On the way back we saw another leatherback nesting but couldn't stop as we were already an hour late for our return taxi. Apparently leatherbacks can nest up to 10 times in one season although fishing, plastic bags and other human caused fatalities are causing widespread decline in leatherback numbers
Or alternatively stop using plastic bags, get yourself a reusable bag and pop it in the car so you don't forget it when you next go shopping!
For a really in depth look at Leatherbacks see the following publication