2012 June 22, Friday
Gulf of Maine, Cape Cod, MA
Bad weather kept us (and many sailors and fishermen) out of the air and off the water yesterday. This morning we didn't plan to fly until later in the afternoon -- but we received an unexpected satellite phone call from the hearty scientists who had been at sea all week, saying that a search was on for at least one leatherback sea turtle who was badly entangled with fishing gear, and could we help? Of course we could, and would, and did! With all the fishermen of all types out there east of the cape, in that small area that was teeming with whales, basking sharks, sea turtles, and other plankton and small-fish eaters, it was a wonder everybody wasn't getting tangled up! So we called and woke up our best spotters, grabbed the cameras we happened to have with us, and sped to the airport.
Within 1.5 hours, we had made seven sightings of leatherback sea turtles in the general area of the turtle that had been reported as entangled and in distress. Only one of the animals we saw was obviously dragging some gear in its wake and moving in an impaired manner -- this was the turtle at the position of waypoint #0313 (N41 37.958 W69 43.057).
Read the article and see many more photos here!