A Sharky Night

    Posted: June 24, 2019

    A swift and steady pace we take

    To make it to the mangrove planks

    Donning nets and gadgets:  gear galore!

    We shuffle ‘round about the shore.

    Warm water laps against our knees

    And we need speak in only whispers

    As we wait quietly in the murky blue pond.

     

    We spoke as we approached this place

    On trodden paths, a Curieuse space

    Of our predictions for this journey

    We all thought, ‘we needn’t worry’

    No way these nets will catch a shark

    Let’s all head back before its dark

    But onward and inward we did venture

    Through an opening in the mangroves we found our place among the shallows.

     

    The turtle pond at twilight brings deep purple and orange to tired eyes

    As sunlight leaves the islands sleeping, stars and moon illuminate the sky

    A lonely fruit bat flies overhead while night frogs begin their cries

    This group of volunteers stands silently with no hope of being dry.

    And yet, we find ourselves at peace with this environment.

     

    Despite the interesting conditions

    The night disproved our inhibitions

    For as the stars began to shine

    We realized where we were was fine

    In fact this place we live is great

    I’ve clothes on my back and food on my plate

    It’s guaranteed, back at the camp

    I’ll make it back with my headlamp

    For now I’ll look up at the stars

    Orion’s belt, the Southern Cross

    Oh look! There’s Jupiter, above the moon

    Do we really have to go back so soon?

    This place is different in the night

    It’s not as hot, it’s not as bright

    And wildlife wakes up to roam the waters right beneath my feet.

     

    An hour passes in this way

    No lemon sharks have come to play

    But in this hour we’ve seen a lot

    The same Job fish was four times caught.

    I’ll never forget that baby sea turtle

    As he swam so casually next to us

    A floating bundle of hawksbill joy

    Looked as if he was a toy

    And so casually did he float

    With flippers tucked, a tiny boat

    So rare to see when it’s this dark

    But will we ever see a shark?

     

    LEMON! Shout the volunteers so far away

    And our response is a bit delayed

    Really? Truly? A Lemon shark?

    They must be joking around.

    But twice more did we hear the call

    And in a flash we were on the ball

    We hurriedly gathered up our nets

    And quickly started making bets

    On how large this lemon shark might be

    And if it could have wriggled free

    But as we approach testing station they dropped a shark with jubilation into a tank.

     

    We quickly begin performing tests

    Implant the tag, you know the rest

    Just DNA, bellybutton, and scarring

    Gender (female), length and color

    The finishing touch, just take a picture

    Everyone feel the shark’s exterior.

    As quickly as the shark was brought

    We have to release it, so we are taught

    And so the brave team runs to the pond

    To release the shark before we grow too fond

    And after hours of anticipation our hearts are filled with wondrous elation

    To catch and tag a shark was our dream

    It would’ve been impossible without this team

    So now I think it’s only right

    To thank you all for this sharky night.

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