We got the call in the afternoon, and were all ready to go by sunrise the next morning: Project TurtleCam‘s first mission, to tag and track leatherback turtles as they migrate through Nantucket Sound!
Thanks to a roaring start to the TurtleCam’s crowdfunding campaign, the researchers were able to mobilize a boat and a spotter plane on short notice this week, after a yacht captain reported seeing 6 leatherbacks just off of Osterville. Now that Obama has gone back to Washington (flight restrictions were in place while he was vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard) and jellyfish are finally floating around these parts, we’re thrilled to get going on this expedition!
Despite several sightings and some very close encounters, wave conditions were not conducive to gently placing a suction-cup tag on a skittish turtle’s back with a 6-foot pole. But not to be defeated so easily, we are planning another adventure tomorrow. Check out some video highlights, and if you’re so motivated, help support this critical research through a tax-deductible donation to Project WHOI!