Day 272, Year 5 Turtle Quest II
Date: Sunday, July 25, 2010
Weather: Perfectly Beautiful Day, Light Winds
Location: Nosy Iranja, NW Madagascar

I don’t usually write two logs in one day, but I just had to write a sequel to Turtle Quest. I know I keep saying this from time to time, but life just doesn’t get better than this. There is an almost full moon overhead, the sunset was lovely, and we had a great trip to shore to the Iranja Lodge. We learned that there were no hatchlings tonight, but if we come back next week we will get to see the babies scrambling for the water. So we will be back next week.

We went to shore to have a beer at the Iranja Lodge bar in hopes of finding a way to see the baby turtles hatching. We were armed with our son-in-law Jed’s email full of information. We hit the shore with the surf, jumped out of the dinghy, and were helped by our security guard friend and another guy. Whew! The first obstacle is successfully met. Then we go to the bar and order a beer from one of the English speaking young men we met this morning. I think he is a manager, but not sure about that. When he brings the beer, we ask him is he know Ignance, the ‘turtle man.” Of course he does and he goes and gets him for us. Ignance is probably thirty years old, no older, and he speaks a little English. We tell him our son-in-law and daughter are marine scientists in America and they have told us about him. He was so pleased and he asked if we would like to see baby turtles hatching. Are you kidding me? I could hardly contain my excitement. He explained that there was a hatching yesterday at 5 pm and that there will probably be another one tomorrow at the same time. Evidently 5 pm is the hatching time. But there was not a hatching today. He told us that the Green Turtles lay eggs all year long and that they take two months to hatch. The Hawksbills, however, hatch only in December. We explained that we cannot stay for tomorrow night’s hatching but we will return next week. No problem. Just come to the island and ask for him. Jed, you are a genius. Thanks again for the quick return on information.

Just being anchored here is a bit of a challenge as it is a bit rolly. Add to that the surf that we have to ride into shore and head back into to get off the shore, and that doubles the challenge. But then imagine the perfect island resort that is shared by a turtle reserve. When I get rich I will fly back to Madagascar and come to Iranja Lodge. The accommodations are built in traditional style and you can hardly tell that there is a resort from the water. It really fits into the environment nicely. The restaurant and bar is right on the sand spit with water on two sides and has a great sunset view over the other end of the island. The Lodge takes their guests to Nosy Komba by speedboat to see the lemurs and buy recelet, they take them snorkeling at Tani Keli, they take them fishing, they entertain their children while the parents are having a traditional dinner in the village across the sand spit, and they have this wonderful sand spit to walk at low tide everyday. All this and you get to see baby turtles hatching and heading out to sea. Iranja Lodge gets an A+ from me.

100725 Day 272 Nosy Iranja, Madagascar–Iranja Explore