Turtles and Snorkeling: Day 3


Today was the first morning that I woke up feeling fully rested. We went to bed earlier than usual last night and that gave me a lot more energy for today and it was nice sleeping in until 7. After the usual morning routine of brushing my teeth, having some coffee, and talking to my roommates we all went to the cattle-guard to meet up. Once everyone had arrived, we walked down to Guavaberry to have some very good breakfast that was brought to us by Casey. After we ate and talked we had a guest speaker, Dr. Gore, who came to talk to us about sea turtles. She had out together a slideshow for us that was full of background information on the turtles and the different species. The main turtles that we talked about were the hawksbill and the green sea turtle. We discussed their history and travel/life patterns in the wild. After this very informative talk we split up in half for the days activities. My group went straight to the marina for turtle tagging. We all piled up on the boat Sea Dragon and headed off to go search and hopefully catch some sea turtles. To my surprise as we had just pulled out of the marina there was a group of 3 turtles right next to our boat. At first I thought that Jeff had just been messing with us but to my surprise they we actually there. I wanted to jump right in immediately and go catch them but I realized that I didn’t have any of my gear on so I raced to get it on and by the time we had all gotten in the turtles had gone under and hid. I was slightly disappointed but feeling very optimistic with such early success since we had found 3 in under 5 minutes. We then headed over to another location where we tried another method to find the turtles. Two people would hold onto a flotation device that was being pulled by the boat and they would look under water using there mask and snorkel for turtles. Once they had spotted one they let go and everyone jumped in to go find it. The first time this happened we were very close to catching the turtle (they we MUCH faster than what I was expecting). I was following one for 5 minutes of fast swimming and almost got it once it came up for air but unfortunately as soon as it went up it went right back down and hid about 50 feet below (this is way to deep for any of us to free dive). But after this we got back into the boat and tried again. As Sam and Tom were looking in the water it began to rain very hard and it got to be extremely cold. In the end however we tried everything to catch one but we didn’t. As we packed up and left I was a little upset but at the same time all I could think about was how awesome it was to be just 3 feet away form these magnificent creatures. On the way back to the marina we all talked about our stories of getting very close to catching one even though no one did. Once we got back we cleaned up our stuff and went to lunch. We had burgers and fries waiting for us just feet away which was very nice because I was extremely hungry. I ate lunch with Sam and Jeff and we talked about many different things. After lunch we went to the store to go buy some souvenirs. After a little shopping my group went with Glenn to a new beach where we met Caitlin and Sarah. They had a tub for us that was full of small funny looking organisms. There were sea urchins, sea snails, a small shrimp, etc. This was very cool getting to hold and learn more about these creatures. Following the lesson we went snorkeling for 20 minutes and did some more fish ID. Since we had been so exhausted from trying to catch the turtles we decided to go back to shore and just relax in the shallow water. This was very being able to just relax and play frisbee with my group. After and hour or so Glenn came to pick us up and take us back to our houses. We then took showers and got ready for dinner at Mad Dogs. We walked over to Mad Dogs and had some lasagna and salad. The food was fantastic and I had a great time just talking to everyone at dinner. After dinner we walked back to our houses once again to get our iPads and then we came back to the meeting room to write our blogs. This was a fantastic day and I’m extremely excited to do the coral transplanting tomorrow.