Today was definitely a favorite for many of us on board the Catalinaville. It began with a rush where our chefs expertly prepared scrambled eggs in record time so we could catch our 8:30 taxi to a very small dock where we began the ultimate life experience: catching sea turtles. We used a method called rodeo turtling in which one person stands ready in the side of the dingy or small motorboat as the driver chases the turtle while the others aboard must keep it in sight. Next, the turtle hopefully tires and slows (contrary to popular belief those little beasts are surprisingly speedy) enough so that the person in the side may literally pounce on to the turtle chest first and grab its’ sides (Note: this does not harm the turtle in any way). I attempted this three times and only ended up bruising my legs, but we ended up with a grand total of six turtles caught by Michael, Victoria, Camille, and Phon. Back on land we measured various parts of the turtles while trying to keep them calm and comfortable. It was interesting because the staff told us scientists would actually be using the data we collected which meant we had to be very precise. We also inserted flipper and PIT tags. The flipper tag being an external earring on the turtles flipper with a number showing on the metal. A PIT tag went inside the turtle in a rather large shot so when the turtle is caught again, a device can scan for the bar code and read the number off of it without going inside the turtle. Fortunately, our turtles were shockingly docile and had little to no serious reactions to any of our procedures. I hope to speak for everyone by saying the experience was better than expected and unforgettable. After we got back to the boat I think the dance, hike, and today’s activity hit everyone at once and we are all very exhausted but managed to clean the entire boat: an extreme task. Chores are finishing up and I’m anticipating an early bedtime all around. To my mom, dad and family: I’m really sorry my phone has not been working and just wanted to let you know all of the people surrounding me are so wonderful and some of the best times and moments of my life have happened around them. Also, please find a way to send me my final grades, it is incredibly nerve-wracking. Thank you to all the other parents who have raised such amazing children, they change me every day and I love every one of them. Missing you but I don’t want to leave!
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Find out why they call them “nature’s little secrets.” Live onboard a catamaran and sail through the BVIs while earning 100 hours of community service. You’ll gain hands-on experience with scientific research by tagging sea turtles, reforesting mangroves, and restoring coastlines in this adventure of a lifetime.View Details