Turtle Turnout


Today, I woke up to the sound of the roosters, crowing because the morning was young. We all combed our hair, brushed our teeth, and then went down to the meeting area, better known as the cattle guard. We walked across the street to the Internet Cafe, where we enjoyed some donuts that Casey brought, nurti-grain bars, and cereal. We then listened to Dr. Shannon Gore talk to us about sea turtles and the effect that humans have on them. I learned a lot about turtles today, like that there is a species of sea turtles that are called leatherbacks because they don’t have a hard shell, like other sea turtles, but a shell like leather (hints the name leatherbacks). Dr. Gore was very knowledgeable on sea turtles and even helped write 4 published paper on sea turtles while a 5th was in the process of review. My group, Sea Monkey, then went to Savannah Beach, where everyone snorkeled and learned about invertebrates. I convinced myself not to do any swimming today, due to the fact that I did not want to re-injure my arm. While they snorkeled, I laid on the beach, enjoying paradise and nature around me. I also helped Casey make the invertebrates touch pool, which consisted of sea eggs, mantis shrimp, sea urchins, and singled celled organisms. We then played around on the beach, throwing the frisbee with Doc only to people that would dive in the ocean to get it. Glenn, our taxi driver, picked us up from Savannah Beach, where we feasted on some good ole burgers and fries. The lunch was so good, it made me want to get seconds! We were then briefed on turtle tagging and the correct method to catch a turtle. The boat ride only took us about 5 minutes to spot a turtle, but we couldn’t find it after the initial sight. We then rode 15 minutes until Joe spotted a turtle when he was getting onto the dragging line. The turtle that Joe found was a hawksbill, but they couldn’t catch it because it swam to deeper water when Casey and I spotted a second turtle from the boat. After a long wrestle with the turtle, Mem, a dive master, finally came out with the turtle. It was a hawksbill and a good size too. Since I couldn’t go into the water, Dr. Gore let my write to information she told me to write. I took down all the information, we tagged it, then everybody got to take a picture with the turtle, even my gimpy self. We then rode back to the marina, where Glenn was waiting for us. He took us to the cattle guard and we went to our rooms, showered and got ready for some lasagna at Mad Dogs, followed by the world famous ice cream brownie. Even though I didn’t do much today, I still had a lot of fun being in the sand and next to the ocean.
Picture 1: Carl, the hawksbill turtle, was a good puppet for our picture taking.

Picture 2: the snorkel spot that we encountered the invertebrates.

Picture 3: the ocean is the coolest color I have ever seen.