Monday, 6 February 2006

one day

(turtle, Solomon Islands)
i was talking to a volunteer recently who'd been living for the past while on an island that is part of the Solomon Islands. He'd been living, with his wife, on the world's largest uninhabited tropical island (still classed as uninhabited, because they had no children; odd but true).

He told me a great story about tagging turtles. The turtles thre are huge (hand gestures indicating almost 2m long). To tag them, 3 people go out oin a motorised banana boat. When they spot a turtule, they pull in close and follow. The turtles shoot along, and the driver tries to run parallel as one of the taggers leaps off the boat, hoping to land on the turtle's back. If the jumper holds on to the side of the shell, the turtle can very quickly dive down dep, and there's a real risk of being sucked down and then drowning.

So the jumper must grab on to the turtle's flippers straight away. This is very hard to do - hence there are 2 jumpers in the boat. If the first fails, the boat speeds away with the turtle, planning to circle back for the missing passenger later. If the second also fails, the driver keeps speeding along with the turtle. He steers the boat close once more, and - in a moment so quick there's no time to hold your breath - he cuts the engine and makes hiw own hopeful leap.

This is something I'd love to see.


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