The morning began at 6:30 when Em started to play music. We woke up, gathered in the saloon, and found the whiteboard with our plans for the day, which first entailed the 13 of us to get ready and into the dinghy to be ready for our day of turtling by 8:30. We worked together amazingly to make breakfast, eat, get dressed, clean up, and pump up Shadow all in time before the staff woke up again. They seemed very pleased with everything we did, which set the day off to a great start and put us all in a fantastic mood. Everyone was so excited for the day, and we were all hoping to catch turtles. When we arrived at shore on Anegada around 9, we stopped and got some coffee and Pina Coladas which were SO GOOD! We hopped into the taxi and headed towards the dock, where we learned about the new style of turtling we would be doing for the day. It was called Rodeo Style, meaning you basically bellyflop off of the boat when the time is right and jump directly above the turtle to catch it. Most of us seemed pretty nervous to try this, but I was super excited to see how it went. We split into two groups, and the first group quickly set off on two boats to start us off. I was in the second group, so we stayed back and talked while eating lunch as well. After two hours of waiting, they finally arrived back, and to our surprise, every single one of them had caught their own turtle! Everyone had the biggest smiles on their faces as they gathered their turtles off of the boat and brought them to the table to get ready to tag. My group then headed out right away, and I was pumped up and committed to getting a turtle myself. As we got out there, Emma and Spencer went on the turtle boat first. After about 30 minutes, our first turtle was spotted, and it went time for Emma to attempt to capture it. She geared up on the side of the boat and waited patiently to be told to jump off. When the time was right, she dove in and 3 seconds later popped back up with a turtle! Her first try, and she got it! Our whole group was so happy and proud of her, and we were all now confident that we would be able to get our own. One by one, we all tried and were successful at catching our own turtles! We all brought them back to the dock and got ready for tagging. We measured, weighed, and tagged them one by one while we also decided on names. Mine was named Rodney, and he was the second biggest of the day! Each of us got one, so in total, we got 14! Finally, we set them off back into the ocean and watched as they quickly swam away. It was such a cool experience to be a part of, and the whole group was so glad that we got so many turtles. After that awesome part of the day, we got into the taxi to head to Cow Wreck Beach — or so we thought. It turns out that it was closed, so our driver Rondel had another idea in store. When we arrived at our new location, we were instantly surprised by the Anegada Beach Club. Everyone was so happy with the pool, the food, the drinks, and the beach that we got to spend a few hours at. I got the fish tacos which absolutely SLAPPED. We got some phone time which was great, and I spent that time filling in my friends and family back home on the amazing past few days. After we put our phones back, we sat with each other as we reflected on how great it was turtle tagging. Everyone seemed so content, and the smiles were so big it was insane. Soon enough, we headed back to the dock to get on the dinghy to make our way back to Dallas Blonde. We took our saltwater showers in the dark and laughed as we all jumped off of the boat into the shallow water of Anegada. Everyone had agreed that it was definitely one of the top days of our trip so far, and we were also all looking forward to our heads hitting the mattress since we were so exhausted from the chaos throughout the day.
P.S. Shoutout to my dog Hoopy Poopy. Miss you, stinker! Also, happy birthday to my little demon, Mac Mac.