Field Journal – Jarvis Island, day 2

5.3.12 – Thursday. Jarvis Island, terrestrial team.

There is sand in my tent, the backs of my legs and feet are sunburned so badly I just took two ibuprofin, and the light is decent for exactly 1.5 hrs in the morning and again in the late afternoon. But we had a good day on the island. I got up at 5am, just before sunrise. Filmed a redtailed tropicbird in her driftwood log cavern, surrounded by large red hermit crabs. The light was exquisite, so I ran around, trying to shoot bejar6_sgordonfore it ran out. Sure enough by 7:30 the sun was headed fast up into the sky, and by 9 it was nearly overhead. Seriously. I slapped on some sunscreen, loaded up my pack, and away we went, around the island. That was our main task today- to circumnavigate the coastline of Jarvis noting any signs of human disturbance. We came across some old rusted barrels, an empty tin of soybean oil, a shipwreck, a wooden block and tackle (that must be pretty old), a fish buoy, and the SST buoy CRED deployed 2 years ago, buried in the sand. At one point we came across a fantastic little inlet with 20 or 30 blacktip reef sharks swimming in it. There were jumping gobies (the big ones) in the tide pools near the edge of that channel. It was an enchanting place. jar5_sgordonThe battery on my camera ran out of juice about then, but I was able to film the sharks.

What did I learn today? Bring twice the batteries you think you need. Make that three times as many.

Also, wear sunscreen. And getting up early is always worth it.