Experimental Tropical Marine Ecology

Zip! Zip! And away!
by -- April 4th, 2012

Day 7 (March 9, 2012)

Hitting the lab at a record time of 7:30am we quickly fell into work mode and powered through all remaining ~150 crabs with enough time to head back to Bastimentos to return them to their home island and to see the forest there from a completely new and uncommon angle, above.

The dock at Bastimentos.

At the Red Frog beach in Bastimentos we had beautiful farewell ceremony to the crabs (videotaped for prosperity, in order to view please request from Abbie) which involved “Big Bertha” – our largest crab who never came out of her shell during our experiments – making a mad dash for the ocean and amusingly tumbling off a small ledge in her over-enthusiasm.

Which crabs wouldn't want to go home to a beautiful place such as this?

Be free crabbies!

After we said our goodbyes we went to sign our liability waiver forms. None of us had ever been zip lining before and we were a mixture of nervousness and excitement. We had a couple from Canada (engaged) join our group and after being strapped up in our gear piled into the back of the pick-up truck to head up to the starting point.

Shannon getting on her ziplining gear

On the way up we passed right under a sloth chilling with her baby in a tree and a giant iguana chilling on a branch (I saw giant because it was several meters away and up high and we could still see it as it was the length of about a fifth of the branch). We got off the pick-up truck and had a short hike to the zipline demonstration hut where we listened raptly to the instructions as if our life depended on it…because it did. One hand on rope in front, the other behind head, gently hold wire, press to slow, cross ankles, raise knees, and give trust.

We don't look worried at all

My first time down I must have pressed down too much in nervousness because I stopped before the station where I needed to alight and had to be fetched and brought in. No worries. The second time I learned from my mistake and zoomed through the canopy completely exhilarated. We did a few other tricks and I can only assume we were a good bunch because instead of having to choose between some paths and antics we ended up doing everything, including the Tarzan swing! It was great fun and you can see below pictures from our last zip: freestyle, NO HANDS!


Lexi looks like she might be feeling a mixture of euphoria and dizziness

What an end to a beautiful day.

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