Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cyrus el Tortuga

The knock on the boat comes early in the morning … it is the Park Rangers.  Viking II has been anchored in Partida Cove for several days … this sunrise visit by the authorities can’t be good!  I say “buenos dias”; in English, the young researcher tells me that they will be tagging turtles at the fishing village in fifteen minutes and cruisers are welcome to watch.  No coffee … no breakfast … fire up the dingy and head to the beach.

 There is an assemblage of cruisers on the beach encircling nine unhappy turtles lying on their backs.  This is the monthly turtle tagging by the government.  Nets were set up last night; local fisherman assist with the task; young research interns add to the ambiance.  

 Each turtle is weighed, measured, named and tagged; the Jefe has the girls measure the tails while the leather skinned fishermen laugh ... some things are the same in any language.  
Cyrus and his cousins are about 20 to 25 years old; Cyrus has a California tag, from about 1,000 miles away. The process is quick to minimize the impact on the turtles; when complete, the turtles are rolled over onto their bellies; they dart off the beach and swim to open water.  They will probably tell their friends about the crazy people to avoid on Isla Espiritu Santo.

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