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Varanus Island (1 Viewer)

Turtle Tagger on Varanus Island.
Although the Osprey was a very interesting story, it was the Marine Turtles that took up most of my spare time, especially during their nesting season, that was when I would go out at night and tag and measure the females that I found on the beaches.
To tell this story I have to go back to the beginning and for this I check some notes that I took at the time. Sadly I haven’t got all my notes because I had only what I could carry on the plane when I left Australia.
My notes start on the 20th May 1986 and are a condensed version of the first fortnight.

Tuesday 22 April 1986. I arrived on this Island and immediately compiled a list of the species of birds I have seen here. I start work at 4.00 am and finish at 4.0 pm and from then till nightfall I walked all around observing all the fascinating sights. I flew home on the 6th May. The flight home was in a Grummond Mallard Seaplane, very exciting taking off from a choppy ocean, this took us to Onslow and then to Karatha, then by Fokker Friendship plane to Port Hedland and Perth. I mention this because it was quite a run-around to get home.
I returned to the Island on Tuesday 13th May by West Australian Airlines to Karratha then by Bristow’s Helicopter to the Island. We flew only a thousand feet above the water and I was able to see below many Dugongs, Sea Snakes and great schools of fish. After work on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I went swimming with my snorkel and saw so many different species of fish I had never seen before. On the Friday the Environment Consultant, Harry Butler arrived and he and I had a couple of interesting conversations. He was well pleased with my bird list and asked me if I would continue with it and send the results to his office. Little did he know that he was my hero and I was in complete awe at the encouragement he gave me? I also met a couple of guys from the Department Of Conservation and Land Management, CALM, and they were pleased to find someone interested in the flora and fauna of the island. Just off from the island was the Harriet A oil platform and the oil was pumped to the island and held in three large oil tanks, when full the oil was pumped to a visiting tanker. Transport to the mainland was by the seaplane and I found it very exciting when we landed on the water and drove up a ramp onto the land, sadly the plane hit a sandbank on one of its trips and from then on we travelled by Helicopter
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