Another Day at Ulithi Atoll
22 March 2009 | Philippine Sea
It was another beautiful day at Ulithi Atoll. Being Sunday we decided to wait until tomorrow to head to Yap. Arriving on Sunday would no doubt be expensive. There's no wind and the forecast is for more of the same so tomorrow is as good as any day.
We did a lot of relaxing, reading, snorkeling and visiting with the locals today. The chief's son brought us some lobster in exchange for Rum. He then told me that the chief had outlawed alcohol on the island. Great. At night they came by to offer us turtle. Ug. They had two large turtles and one small one. This is the season the turtles lay their eggs all around this area. I tried to tell them that this was not a good time of year to be killing lots of turtles. They laughed.
It is sad that so few islanders take conservation seriously. It is different for them because it may mean not eating so well. It seems like there should be some way to get the message through, that they would be protecting their own future by avoiding pressuring species to extinction. In most cases they have little affect on species populations. For instance the islanders can take all the tuna they want, it is the long line fleets that will wipe them out in the end. Turtles are a little different. Green Sea Turtles are endangered and every adult female removed from the population makes the future bleaker.
In the end all we can really do is reinforce what they already know and "just say no to turtle".
We enjoied a lovely sunset at the end of the day. We got the boat ready to go because we will have to leave first thing in the morning. The trip to Yap is 97 miles so we need to leave around 5:30AM first light and average a bit over 7 knots. It will be a motor sail given conditions so should be no problem.
We look forward to seeing our friends on Whistler tomorrow and checking in at Yap!