Eye of hawksbill turtle
" ... Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself... ”
Sometimes good things come from adversity - testing your strength and stamina, learning life lessons, making new friends, or creating something you had no plans to create.
Last weekend, the University of Belize's Environmental Research Institute invited me to their research station at Calabash Caye on Turneffe Island Atoll to document their monthly coral species and bleaching transects and to night dive with the hope of witnessing coral spawning. The weather, plain and simple, sucked. Rain, wind, and yes, cold made working a camera on multiple dives a challenge. In one word, I would describe the water visibility the same way I described the weather.
Fortunately, I packed my macro lens and port, so decided to concentrate on the small things that make our Barrier Reef so special. Usually I have an idea of the quality of images I am producing on any given shoot; but I was taken by surprise at what I saw during my first edit back in the office. Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the images, leaving you to guess what it is I am showing you.
During the end of one of my dives, when my air supply was dive ending low (of course), my body cold and tired, and my strobes taking longer to recycle, one of the researchers spotted a hawksbill turtle lying on the bottom at about 65 feet. Of course, with my macro lens on I didn't feel I had a shot, but still I slowly approached the docile creature till his/her eye filled the frame.
I never checked the image in camera, and when I saw this image back in the office, the eye of the turtle immediately reminded me of a quote I read long ago - not sure who to attribute it to, but it stuck with me ...
" ... Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself...”
Photograph by Tony Rath
Video on tagging sea turtles
Sea turtles are a valuable part of marine ecosystems because they help to preserve sea grass beds which are important for shelter and resource to many other sea organisms. But the reality is that sea turtles all over the world are threatened, particularly the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, which has been listed as critically endangered with a decreasing population. The Hawksbill is protected by law in Belize and coupled with a number of initiatives to safeguard the species; Belize has a thriving population of the sea turtle. One organization that is doing turtle conservation is the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary. Since the 1990’s, they have been working to protect turtle eggs and study the species. The sanctuary has partnered with a non-profit called Hawksbill Hope and Marymount University of the U.S.A to track their migration patterns. Today, Reporter Andrea Polanco and Videographer Chris Mangar travelled to Gales Point Village and file this report.
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San Pedro Daily