10-10-10

I went out on the reef to day with Cheryl and a visitor, Ramzi, in search of hawksbill turtles. We had swam most of the main reef with no sightings so we opted to go out to an outer reef area where I had seen 1D67 now a couple times. We were in luck.

Cheryl went down for a shot:

And then I went down for a shot of her.

We decided to wait for her to surface. Cheryl kept an eye on 1D67 and I swam off to

check out more of this outer and unfamiliar reef. I hadn't gone very far when I noticed the

rear end of another hawksbill sticking out from under a coral head. My guess was it was

Rocket Girl but it was just a guess. I called Cheryl over to check out this "bonus"

and she and Ramzi joined me. I figured we should keep an eye on both turtles and wait

for one to surface so I swam back to 1D67. I hadn't been there for more than a minute

when I saw a third hawksbill swimming in from out in deeper water and it seemed to be

headed to where 1D67 was. I yelled over at Cheryl once again and told her we now had a

third turtle!! As she and Ramzi came over, this turtle I will call "Trouble" did in fact

swim up to 1D67 and hassled her out from her resting spot.

1D67 ended up swimming off about 40' away and just parked down in the sand and rubble

while Trouble settled down in her general spot. I dove down for a couple shots of Trouble

as she is an unknown (to me) hawksbill. I would add that it is deep out here and not trivial

diving down to the turtles.

I think Cheryl took some shots as well. Whether because of our presence or not, Trouble

lifted off from the reef and swam out and over to where the partially hidden turtle was

resting. Trouble went in and rousted this turtle as well! As soon as the hidden turtle's head

came out from under the coral shelf, I recognized her as Rocket Girl.

Although Rocket Girl came out from her "spot" she did not leave the area and it was

Trouble who ultimately took off swimming. We followed trouble for a bit thinking she

might be up to rousting yet another hawksbill!! She just went out into deeper water and

was looking about the reef. We went back into shallower water to check on the other two

and at about this time, Rocket Girl decided to surface. Cheryl and Ramzi stuck with her

and I swam down to see if 1D67 was about. I couldn't find her on the bottom where she had

been but then saw her about halfway to the surface. I joined her and took some shots:

I noticed some circular spots on her carapace where the algae was reduced and I have

seen this before on hawksbill turtles. Before, I assumed it was possibly people's finger

prints but now suspect these are areas where the goldring surgeon fish have grazed.

When the excitement settled, Rocker Girl went back to her spot and ducked under the

ledge. 1D67 also returned to her spot. The last shot below is one of Cheryl taking a pic of

1D67:

What was looking like an uneventful visit to the reef turned out to be a great encounter

and thanks in part to unexpected Trouble! It will be interesting to see if Cheryl has her in

her data base. It would also be nice to have a name other than 1D76 for this other gal. :)

*****

Update: After reviewing my images and confirming with Cheryl, "Trouble" is Maggie (also identified in my pages as UK1 as she was unknown the first time I saw her as well) She had received a number of names in her past and after her rousting activity yesterday, Trouble is as appropriate as any of them!