Location: Anegada

We spent much of today at the old yacht harbor of Anegada Island. Once a bustling hub of yachtsmen and sailors, the harbor is now a small and rather run down fishing port overgrown in mangroves. A fisherman by the name of Richard drove us around three at a time in his powerboat in search of science! We were on the prowl for mysterious and illusive sea-critters, green and hawksbill sea turtles. The technique was simple in theory, Richard, familiar with the island and the turtles, drove around a sand bar until a turtle was spotted, then after an adrenaline-filled chase and once the turtles were thoroughly worn out, an individual on the bow would dive into the shallow water hands first, and ideally, come up with a sea turtle. Cecilia was the first to attempt and came up with a monster hawksbill turtle. With some help, she managed to get the reptile, affectionately referred to as “the Dane,” into the boat and back to shore. Once on shore, the turtle was measured and measured again, and a few more times just to be sure and given identifying tags on the two front flippers and an electronic pit tag near its shoulder. The Dane was not too fond of this experience but the other turtles, particularly the greenies, didn’t seem to take any offense. After a nice nap on their backs, the turtles were released back into the sea to live the rest of their lives. If they are found again, scientists at the Association of Reef Keepers can compare the data and learn more about the adolescent years of sea turtles. After spending the majority of the morning and afternoon tagging turtles, we walked to the government building where another kind reptiles are being studied and raised. The Anegada Rock Iguana is an iguana native to the island of Anegada. The rock Iguanas were doing just fine until feral cats on the island pushed the species to the brink of extinction. The Center we were working at was raising iguanas from the time that they hatch until they are strong and old enough to survive on the island. While we were there, we cleaned the water dishes and gave the young iguanas fresh water. A quick taxi ride across the island and we were back at our harbor for the night. After a brief period of shore time, we returned to the ship and washed up for dinner.