define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false);// This setting was defined by WordPress Toolkit to prevent WordPress auto-updates. Do not change it to avoid conflicts with the WordPress Toolkit auto-updates feature. Mr Grouchy

Mr Grouchy

One of the residents of Salang house reef is a Hawksbill turtle, who has been seen regularly for a few years now and seems quite unfazed by our presence.  But it wasn’t until earlier this year that he gained the name Grouchy and here’s how:

In late September, Gemma, Jun and Leon went to get the site ready for the first weekend of data collection. They spent all day in the water repairing the line, learning how to take measurements and figuring out how long it would take to survey the site. For the entire time they were graced by the company of an ever so friendly, very tolerant and hungry turtle.  Gemma and Jun felt he needed naming and were still debating this when they joined the leisure divers for a pre-nightdive snack at the Chinese restaurant.

Chammika, who was leading the leisure divers that day, peered over the top of the menu and rather sheepishly announced he was “going to be grouchy today” and promptly ordered two plates of fried rice. There was a little confusion among the rest of the divers, why would he want two meals if he was grouchy? It transpired he had simply been hungry, and mixed up grouchy with greedy. Much hilarity and teasing of Chammika followed and this was still fresh in the minds of Gemma and Jun when they joined the leisure divers for a gentle dive from the jetty back to Rogers place on Sunday morning. Just as they reached the survey site, there was the little turtle happily munching on some soft coral. For well over ten minutes the divers hovered watching him. He’d occasionally look at them but he didn’t budge, no one was getting between him and his food. Even before they had made it back to Rogers place, Gemma and Jun had agreed on a name for their little friend – Grouchy.

All they had seen him do that weekend was eat, he was one super greedy turtle, and so calling him Grouchy seemed perfect. The name has stuck, and the girls even tried to get the whole project named after him, but that seemed a little unfair to all the other wonderful creatures that call Salang their home.

When the divers returned to map the site in October, Gemma kept telling everyone to keep an eye out for Grouchy while they were working. Those who were fortunate enough to work over the reef got to see him on most dives.  The video below shows Grouchy swimming over the reef with some of the divers in the background. He was also spotted hiding in a coral cave, eating and swimming with a much larger turtle we don’t often see, Grouchy’s Dad maybe?

It’s lovely to see that he isn’t disturbed too much by all the divers and hopefully he will be back next year so we can go and say hello to him again.

Written and shot on a GoPro Hero 2 by Gemma Thomas on the 26th of October 2012.

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