Sunday, July 17, 2011

What we've been up to- Brennan's edition

We are in Colorado now and will spend the next month in the mountains, 5000 feet higher than we are used to- building a fort, hiking, riding 4-wheelers, fishing, playing at parks, eating lots of good (and $cheap$) food, and spending time with friends and family.

Last week was Brennan's annual week of sailing school. He LOVES it and was able to sail all by himself for most of the week this time. The kid's spend time snorkeling and learning new things about boating and oceanic ecosystems, and then spend a few hours each day practicing on 3 different boats- an ocean kayak, a mini-catamaran, and a mini-sailboat.

Brennan tagged along with me to a church service project for the youth, YSA, and ten visitors from the Puerto Rico Mission Presidency. We spent half a day clearing out an area at the Children's Home in St. Kitt's that they can use to plant a garden and grow their own produce.

Pictures of Brennan from the school catamaran trip.

Brennan would like to have the look of his island friend's, Justin and Mandella, but I told him he just doesn't have the hair to pull it off.

In June, Adrian, Brennan, and I set out on an adventure that would take us out all night for 3 nights straight, sleeping in the sand on the beach, walking a 2-mile stretch of beach in the dark when it was our turn to monitor, and getting rained on. We went out with a group of sea turtle researchers with the hopes of getting to witness a leatherback turtle come up to shore to lay her eggs. After two nights of no luck, a turtle came up on the third night, and we got to be a part of the process. The turtles spend about 1 1/2 hours digging a hole about 3 feet deep with their back flippers. Then she lays around 100 eggs, which Adrian was in "the back" with a mesh bag and caught all the eggs so they could be relocated to a safer area. Brennan and a friend who came along got to sort and count the eggs and move them to the new hole. Then the turtle (who doesn't know her eggs were even moved) covers the hole back up and "disguises" the area by moving in circles and throwing sand for about a 15 square foot area. The researchers tag and measure and take blood samples of the turtle before she crawls back out to sea. They are very large and the females can get up to 12oo lbs. It was amazing to witness was an experience that we won't forget.

Finally, Brennan won first place in the school science fair for his project on what material catches fire the quickest using only a magnifying glass to pinpoint heat from the sun. The dryer lint caught on fire the fastest- in only 11 seconds! So Brennan's conclusion was that if you are camping or putting together a 48-hour kit, include not only matches but a magnifying glass as well. Brennan had a great time catching things on fire out on the balcony and burning holes through bottles.

(No ants were harmed in the fulfilling of this science project).

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