August 10, 2006
I knew today was going to be a busy day. When I got to the flying bridge they had already spotted 5 turtles. The small boat was put immediately and the turtle rodeo began. When the dust cleared we had caught 20 turtles, wrangling 5 of them myself into the boat, which was the final tally of the day.
Let me tell you about my dead sea turtle story. We spot a turtle floating and Lindsey says "Mark, are you going to get this one?" I say "sure" as I am taking off my lifejacket. I climb on the front of the boat ready to go as we approach this floating turtle. I turn and say "I think he is dead" and then Iliana blurts out "he is swimming away", on instinct I dive in and come up under him and as I try to grab behind his neck I notice there is no space behind his neck, his neck is so bloated there was nothing to grab. At that moment I get a big whiff and sure enough he definitely is dead. I swim him over to the boat and load him, all the time trying not to gag. We then started back to the ship and the wind of that dead turtle was going right up my nose. I look around and everyone in the boat is acting like no big deal and I am in the back gagging away. That turtle did not get away and I took some ribbing about sneaking up on a dead turtle.
As the sun is setting just outside of La Paz, Mexico I went non-stop from 8:00 am until 11:00 pm and loved every minute. My adrenaline and the excitement of that many animals in one day kept me feeling alive. The temperature is hot, but it feels good to sit here and lounge and reflect on a perfect day. I only wish words could describe the exhilaration of a busy day at sea.