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Week #5

Tropical storm from Huricane Matthew at Islas del Rosario

Strong winds, lots of rain, waves beating the coasts, that’s how the weekend started for me on Islas del Rosario. Hurricane Matthew hit hard the parts of Guajira, moved with lots of heavy rain through Santa Marta, Barranquilla, Cartagena including the Islands. Luckily, on Friday we spent all day long in the sea, both in the observatorium and the open sea diving, freediving for the corals, finished all the translocation of corals Acropora cervicornis, therefore it was fine to stay out of the water this weekend although soaked wet at some point. The rain was pouring down badly mainly on Sunday when the storms came and left behind lots of “swimming pools” on the land and partly caused coastal erosion on some properties

Adrian Devia, a biologist responsible for the aquaculture and Project leader in coral restoration, was called to come to the lab and secure the things from getting wet. The problem, however, was to get to Oceanario which is a boat journey away from the Palmar where we are living. Normally it takes 10min but in good weather conditions and not during the tropical storm. We quickly packed all our stuff and walked through the island forest to arrive at the meeting point. As we didn’t have any rain coats me and Camila, an intern from University of … were using our diving clothes J Unfortunately, our boat was not there…and so we waited waited waited…and ended this waiting torture after 3 hours when we had enough of being cold, tired, hungry, angry and wet. I guess when living on the Island you never know what is or not going to happen, expect anything.

Long waiting for the boat ride that never came, Camila, Adrian and Jana

Hurricane Matthew has moved on Monday more up North, leaving us with wavy sea but beautiful sunshine. It’s back to heat and sweat. Thinking of those in Jamaica, Haiti and Bahamas where the storms are arriving in the following days. Adrian left in the morning for the project he is working on in the Pacific side of Colombia and me and Camila stayed in the Lab. As every morning Camila continued in her daily chores in managing the cultures of rotires for feeding the future larvas of the groupers. After the short boat ride from Isla Grande I assessed the situation and decided it would be the best to stay one more day on Islands and see if the sea calms down to have a safe boat ride back to Cartagena. More time to spend with our lovely friend Osito and my puppy Patan.

When the sunshine came back on Monday

Camila "enjoying" her daily duties with rotifers

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Alex, Adriana, Olivia and Yanelci attended another official Project meeting with Gabriel where more details on the projects with communities have been discussed and several new tasks have been relocated between all of us. On October 21-22, University of Cartagena is organizing a scientific convention and we are going to participate with our Project: Fishing for Life, with the oral and poster presentation. Therefore, in these days (Tuesday, Thursday) we were working together to produce the final product. Although Laura is away in Bogota, busy carrying on with the clases for her Master degree, she did a great job on contributing and shaping our poster. Many thanks Laura.

Obviously, we find ourselves sitting in front of our computers and working on both our personal and community project, improving the parts of proposals, developing methodology, contacting our supervisors for the projects. Therefore, it is sometimes good to turn off and do some activity. Every day, we go for walking through suburb Manga where we reach the “Malecon”, little esplanade at the seaside facing Bocagrande. We always sit up on the wall, part of Cartagena’s historic centre and watch the beauty of the sunsets.

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