Turtles, Turtles, and more Turtles


I woke up at the same time as yesterday and the morning routine in the cabin was also the same. Breakfast was great, and we learned a bit about turtles (mainly loggerheads, green, and hawksbill) and their characteristics by Dr. Gore. After breakfast our boat groups broke up and Sea Dragon went to catch turtles and Sea Monkey went to the beach on Savannah Bay (amazing view of both the Atlantic and Caribbean on the ride to and amazing view when we got there) to snorkel, identify invertebrates, and to play more frisbee. The snorkel was fun, although the sea urchins lurking in the crevices worried me (even though they aren’t as bad as they sound they still look menacing, right up there with the squirrelfish). All of the other fish were similar to what we saw the earlier dives, but we focused on snails, sea urchins, porcupine fish, and a sea egg. We then went back to the marina around mid afternoon and ate lunch, and then our groups switched. We ventured off to catch turtles, and we found one as soon as we left the dock, but it unfortunately got away before we were prepared to dive in. We turned around the corner of the island to Nails Bay and coasted the shore. There are many beach houses for rent that go for a load of money, but were nice and secluded on the island with an incredible beach front and view of other islands. Throughout our boat ride, a group of 6 people were behind the boat holding two lines and searching for turtles on the reef. The boat stopped once we spotted a turtle, and we all geared up to go in. I was exhausted from the beach earlier and hesitant to get in the water, but once I did, it was incredibly fun but further exhausting chasing the turtle. We all had it surrounded (except for Brendan, who chased another turtle a few hundred feet away from all of us but apparently hadn’t notice…). I was anxious to dive down to catch the turtle, but knew that it would scare it off. I did however get within 5 feet of it trying to catch it in a later opportunity, but was too slow for the speedy turtle. I surfaced and the people who stayed on the boat called us back because a few of us had caught another turtle successfully. We all took turns holding the surprised turtle (who we named Chad) and taking a picture, and then Dr. Gore tagged it. I offered to release the turtle into the ocean, so I got to the back of the boat with Jeff and held it halfway into the water, waited for it to take a breath, and let it be free. After that we headed back towards the marina after seeing around 6 turtles and catching 1 (first group saw 10 and caught 0!). A few of us, including me, got on the line and were being dragged by the boat while looking for more turtles. I had a camera in my pocket so I used one hand to hang on while the other was ensuring that the camera would not fall out of my pocket. Water got in my snorkel and it was quite a challenge, but I managed to hold on long enough until they called us up to go back. We showered, ate at Mad Dogs and logged our dive yesterday, and played frisbee in the lawn. Now we look back on our somewhat relaxing day without a dive, but somehow more exhausting by all the chasing.