We set sail for Colon, Panama heading for the canal and made our first stop at the largely uninhabited island of Escudo de Veraguas. It looks stunning in the book and the water was pristine as we anchored of the beach. The first day it was pouring with rain (it is rainy season here) and as we explored the shore we were amazed to see turtle tracks everywhere. We lost count at around 30 nests we could make out by the markings and circular depressions in the sand. It was amazing to see. We marked them with sticks to protect and identify them.
What was depressing to see though was the huge volume of plastic waste covering the beach. Plastic bottles, oil containers, flip-flops and plastic shoes and no end of polystyrene and bottle tops. It was hideous and clearly not from the two families resident on the island. Each tide washes up someone else’s careless trash.
We decided to stay and clean up the beach. We didn’t want the poor baby turtles first life experience to be trying to escape from under piles of plastic rubbish. We spent two days clearing the waste and burning it. The beach looked stunning afterwards and the boys enjoyed surfing the waves. As Felix says from Bob the builder, “reduce, reuse and recycle” or just please cut out plastic from our lives and our oceans.