Cozumel Marine Turtle Rescue Program

Unlike a chicken egg embryo a turtle embryo attaches itself to the egg shell and breathes directly through the porous shell membrane. That is why one of the most important things to the little critter’s life is sand. What? Yep, you heard that correct, the properties of the sand, that is the color, composition, compaction and size of the sand granule determines how moist the nest will be over time and that controls the temperature, humidity, salinity and gas exchange necessary for the turtle embryo to develop. Another important consideration is the size of the sand granule. Large sand granules allow the embryo to breathe, taking in oxygen and letting out carbon dioxide. Fine white powder sand, like what you find on a tourist beach, does not provide the right properties for the embryo to survive. That is why the beaches on the windward side of Cozumel are perfect for turtle nests and that is why Mary and I are helping to dig up turtle nests on this evening in September.

Juvenile Spotted Eagle Ray

As our dive boat approached the dock, at Blue Angel Resort in Cozumel, we noticed Jeanie Buscher waiting to greet us. Mary and I had just completed our morning dives at Barracuda and San Juan; what an adrenaline rush, wicked fast current and evil down drafts as you literally fly through the water. Jeanie’s husband Mike had been diving with us so we thought she was there to see Mike. Jeanie leaned in as the boat was being tied off and excitedly told us that Victor had seen a juvenile spotted eagle ray on the Blue Angel shore dive. Mary cut her eyes at me; and that usually means we are “going in again”, and so we hurried to the dive shop with our gear in tow for a fresh tank.

Blue Angel's Sergio and Benji

After our second day of diving with Blue Angel Dive Shop, Mary and I went up to the Blue Angel Restaurant for lunch. Sergio and Benji were our servers and they brought out a large towel to our table and began folding it. Once it was folded they each rolled their end toward the middle stopping every so often, between laughs and giggles, to pull it tight. The towel slowly formed into some sort of head dressing not resembling anything I had ever seen before. Sergio and Benji asked me to close my eyes and then placed the head dressing on my head. You should have seen the confused looks on the diners at the other tables. They did not know whether to laugh or run from this nut! It was awesome! And so began the ritual of Sergio and Benji trying to outdo themselves each day with a new and creative costume for me when I came to lunch.

Devils Throat at Punta Sur

Mary swimming out of the tunnel at 130ft on dive site in Cozumel called Devils Throat and Cathedral.