Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Squirt - first official release!

     Today was my first official sea turtle release! We were aboard a Guardia Costiera boat (which had picked up 80 Algerian immigrants the day before). The reason we had to do this release out at sea was because the turtle of the day was only a year old - too small to just leave on the beach. The boat was incredible and the coast guard were enthusiastic and lively - most of the men were pretty young (the military is probably one of the few stable and non-nepotist jobs available to Italian youth). Luckily, the Center has a great cooperative relationship with the local coast authorities. Seeing little Squirt swim away was one of the best feelings! Such a beautiful experience.
     There was also a BBC documentary filmmaker aboard the boat, filming some of the Guardia Costiera's daily work. He is making a documentary about immigration. On our way back from the release, I was even able to give him a reference to a Danish girl staying in Lampedusa doing her thesis on the phenomena. I hope I helped! Look out for the film, coming in 2014 or 2015!

 The faces of the Coast Guard when they got to hold Squirt were priceless!
 Sad to say goodbye to our cutest turtle, but it was a great day!

The BBC documentary filmmaker that we met downloads about 19 GB of data onto his hard drive every single night... that's a lot of video!   The last goodbye!!

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