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.