A Sea Turtle Meets a Samuel on Baja's Magdalena Bay.
At the end of April I took my family of five camping on Baja California Sur’s Magdalena Bay. We joined the good folks at Grupo Tortuguero in their community and sea turtle conservation project – the information gathered provides data on health, migration patterns and habitat use of sea turtles in Magdalena Bay. Fourteen hours into our monitoring, the area experts and project partners, local fishermen Carlos & Jorge, arrived at our beachfront campsite with a Black Sea Turtle. We placed it gingerly on the beach (as gingerly as one can carrying a 128 kilo sea turtle). My 7-year-old Samuel, a naturalist in the making, was ready with his notebook and quickly scribbled pictures and stats: weight, sex, shell measurements and the locations of a few pesky barnacles. Following Jorge’s lead, Samuel kept the turtle comfortable by pouring salt water over its head and shell and tried to make conversation, asking the turtle things like, "Where do you sleep in the ocean?" and "Can you wag your tail?"
This turtle was new to the program - a new capture - so it needed tracking tags. Tag numbers 2454 and 2455 were added to the notebook. The turtle also needed a new name. Samuel decided on Jack and the turtle seemed to approve. So did the pod of dolphins that ceremoniously swam by as Jack disappeared back into the bay.