A VOLUNTEER WRITES ABOUT HER COUSIN EXPERIENCE
Sally Fisher spent a month volunteering on Cousin Island in April 2013. We continue with part two of this three part blog post where she shares about work, wildlife and island life…
Trip to Praslin
In the afternoon, we head to Praslin for supplies. Despite the heat and sunshine, the wind is up and the sea is choppy today.The boat bounces over the incoming waves. I concentrate on the sea, anticipate a big drop and relax my mouth so my upper and lower jaws don’t crash together. The boat hits the sea like fibreglass on concrete. We rise on the next huge wave, smashing into the dip beyond and I feel my brain hitting the sides of my skull.
Jason apologises. He changes tack. Now we are scooping along the dips between the waves. The boat lurches to one side and I touch the warm water. I sweep upwards and try to lean back, pushing down as though my weight could prevent us from capsizing. When we approach shore I tell Jason I can feel my brain rattling around.
“You need to relax. Stretch your legs out in front of you and don’t tense your arms. Sit at the back of the boat and you’ll be fine”
I follow his instructions, but now we are following the direction of the waves rather than battling against them. We dip between swells and accelerate out of them. As we approach Cousin, the sea is calm in the shelter of the island, turning from deep blue to turquoise. I begin to relax, but sense the fun is not over yet.
“Hold on tight”
We line-up head on to the beach and speed full throttle towards shore. Jason lifts the engine at exactly the right moment and we hurtle several metres up, leaving the boat safely positioned high above the rising tide of the night.
When I return to the Research House, I see 002 still resting on the beach. I sit down beside him on the soft sand to enjoy the view of pink sky filled with dusty grey clouds, but 002 seems to be staring at my feet rather than enjoying the view. Perhaps the eye gloop spoils the view for him.
Eventually, I leave him alone for his night on the beach. Later, in the moonlight, I see he is still there, bathed in the light of the moon, resting on the sand as silvery waves lap the shore.