Josh and Adam were up early in the dinghy with the drone and our net was deployed to synchronize our activities with the satellite fight over. Those footage will be used by Nikolai, the scientist working on refining his ocean current model.
David and Hannah on the dinghy, spotted a turtle in my first hour of swim, probably a loggerhead. The turtle seemed to be laying at the surface motionless. We stopped close to her and I was able to see from under that she had something stocked at the base of her left back fin. She slowly moved away but wasn’t able to dive deeper than 10 meters, came back at the surface and stayed close to us. I followed her carefully to get a better look of what prevented from using her back fins.
It was a grey crab with a white pot on top of its shelf, about 5 centimeters wide. After few circles together, I was able to get a hold of the crab and dislodged it from its comfortable free ride. As soon as the crab was removed, the turtle freely and effortlessly dove and disappeared in the deep blue background.
During the rest of the swim we encountered a plastic basket, a hard hat, fishing buoys and numerous plastic fragments all of them with their own ecosystem. David and Hannah counted close to 100 pieces of plastic floating in their path. 1591 microplastic pieces was the count of our morning net. We are still in the core of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and yes, sea life lives in this plastic soup!
At the end of the day as I removed my wetsuit in the water, the grey crab we found on the turtle fell of it. Sorry the free ride stops here
33º55 N / 142º54 W
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Photo credits @sea.marshall