Feb 15, 2011
Chip Ducrest, the Corpus Christi Windsurfing Association commodore, writes about coming across this turtle in the intercostal waterway...
Yesterday, while windsurfing at Bird Island, I came across one of the many stunned Green Sea Turtles affected by the cold. Don [Jackson] gave me a heads up to be on the lookout, so I took extra line with me and stuffed it in my wetsuit. It was blowing around 14-18 knots from the south, under a beautiful blue sky. The sailing wasn't so great, but it was good to be back out on the water.
Sure enough, after about 30 minutes of up and down sailing, I ran across this guy in the Intercoastal Canal. Why couldn't he have been in shallower water?!? He had a bit of life left in him and tried to dive down, but would immediately pop back up. I jumped in the bitterly cold Intercoastal waterway to grab him and place the turtle on top of my board. The lines came in handy as he immediately wasn't comfortable on his first windsurfer and tried to hop off. I ended up securing him to the footstraps (I should have tried putting his fins in the footstraps) and off we went for the mile long shlog back to shore. It took a while and alot of my energy was drained sailing back, but it was well worth the effort. We had a welcoming crowd gather around once ashore. The guys at Worldwinds were quick to call the NPS, who arrived within a few minutes to take "Chipper" to the sea turtle recovery center. One of the NPS volunteers noted that most of the turtles rescued have come in with eyes closed and less vitality, so I'm hopeful this one will make a quick recovery and get back to the gulf waters.—Chip Ducrest
(Originally published by the Corpus Christi Windsurfing Association)