Straws, plastic bottles, flip flops, candy wrappers, a wine bottle, bleach bottles, oil containers, plastic forks and spoons, plates, hair barrettes, clothes pins and blue banana bags – this is just a short list of the things I found on the beach today. A message in a bottle I did not find.

We were out on the beach for only two hours cleaning and we came back with four garbage bags more than half filled with litter. Beach cleanup is done twice a week by volunteers here. So that should give you an idea of how much garbage washes up onto these shores.

I say that they wash up onto the shores because this isn´t a tourist beach. There is no swimming in the ocean here because the riptides and waves are too dangerous. We have to do the cleaning because if the turtles come up to nest and they find too large of obtrusions in their path they will turn back and try again another day. (Which is why we also had to remove large trees from the beach and throw them into the jungle where they came from).

Besides that, I worked in the hatchery today and saw some more hatchlings. We also learned how to exhume the nests where hatchlings have already come from. Exhumation of the nests is to find the unhatched eggs and dissect them to see what went wrong. Most of the ones found were infested with larvae or were eaten by crabs.

Oh, and I heard my first howler monkeys this morning on my way to work! I still haven´t seen any monkeys, but just hearing them made my heart smile.

Tonight is my first night patrol. I´m working from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. looking for momma turtles. I hope I see one!