Orion's Belt
We Found our Course

Turtle!

In this vast, huge Atlantic Ocean, we met a turtle last night. We correctly passed each other port to port, and much more closely than I would have allowed any tanker. I was delighted to see her (I'm going with her. She was smallish. Could be a young one of either gender, but I'm going with her.)and wished her safe passage. If she's going to the Caribbean, perhaps we'll swim together one day.

We haven't experienced the turtle hatching expedition in Grenada, but we did visit the turtle sanctuary in Bequia, and we did swim with turtles most of the time we snorkeled in the Caribbean. At anchor in St. Thomas, I loved greeting them from the cockpit as they headed for greener bay pastures, calling out a soft, "Hello, Baby." (I called out. They were silent.)

In Santa Maria there is a small museum founded by an amateur naturalist. He passed away three years ago after a long and fulfilling life, and left a legacy and love of the natural history of the Azores. Decads ago, when Florida scientists wondered where the turtles disappeared to after hatching, this gentleman and his young volunteers tagged adult turtles in the Azores. He teamed with one of those Florida scientists and they discovered the long cruises undertaken by the infant sea turtles, and their return to breed. This man was one of fewer than 6000 residents on a tiny island in the Atlantic. He was from the mainland, but moved to Santa Maria for his job as a air traffic controller.

Both this man and the air traffic control office deserve and will get a bigger blog post. I just wanted to honor that turtle, and the people of the Azores this morning. I wish them both well.

We have light winds and a bit of rolling seas. Upon arising from 6 hours off watch, I have vowed to never again rock a baby in a cradle. I don't find it comfortable or comforting -- at all. At one this afternoon, we'll begin our 5th day at sea, and are already more than half way there, so the 8 -12 day time range is good.

Our location is North 32 23.64 and West 019 19.71.

All is good.

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