Dispatches: the Bold Loggerhead - Oceana USA
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September 16, 2009

Dispatches: the Bold Loggerhead

A few days ago, Ranger’s crew encountered a very friendly turtle. Check out the previous dispatches, too. Sept 10, 2009By Thierry LanoyWe set sail this morning from the port of San Sebastian in La Gomera to work around the island.We will remember this port because of what we saw yesterday, and again today. At the end of the dive we started to come up to the surface when we saw a loggerhead sea turtle at 10 meters depth. The turtle reacted immediately: As soon as it saw us, it swam full speed toward us. It got so close to the cameras that we had no choice but to escape! I think it would have been great to see the Oceana divers chased by a hungry turtle. This lasted a few minutes and we were able to document this animal’s peculiar behavior. Later, we were told that local divers feed this turtle regularly and the animal now associates divers with food. It’s a reminder that modifying the habits of wild animals is wrong: it distorts their behavior and gives the wrong impression of their true nature.We sailed to the next dive site to work with the ROV and we passed closed to the coast of La Gomera Island. The cliffs and mountains offered an impressive vista, with the towns hanging on the mountains along the coast.After the dive with the ROV, we returned to port at the island of La Palma. While we worked with the ROV, a Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) approached us.