WOW. We got back to Torrevieja yesterday evening after two days out at sea and what a couple of days they have been. Success came when at last we had calm weather in a high turtle density area.
At sunrise on Saturday we were already well on our way towards a sea mount (an underwater mountain) of known high turtle density five hours sailing from port. After not finding any turtles despite perfect flat calm conditions in the morning, we thought that we were out of luck as the wind began to strengthen in the afternoon. Yet at last, we came across four loggerhead turtles. We successfully deployed National Geographic´s Crittermcams and took skin and blood samples from both. The Crittercams take high definition video footage from behind the head of the turtle allowing us to study its behaviour and interactions with other species. The Crittercams are also able to take depth and temperature measurements. The mechanisms are ingeniously designed so that they can be programmed to release after a specific amount of time, in our case four to five hours, leaving the turtle to continue on its journey.
The last few days have been a fantastic success. The dogged persistence and unstoppable enthusiam of the crew (not to mention the many hours of hardwork) paid off. We can´t wait to see what the first Crittercams deployed on turtles in the Mediterranean will reveal about their life underwater.