I got a call from Cheryl who received a call from Keone (with the Trilogy's Blue'aina Campaign) that a small hawksbill
had been seen with fishing line coming out of its mouth. From what Cheryl gathered in speaking with Keone, this sounded like
Squiggles, a hawksbill Cheryl and I first encountered in the same area, a couple years ago. I had strong doubts that I would one,
find the turtle if I drove down there or two, be effective in any aid to it, by myself. Cheryl reminded me that Squiggles was not
adverse to the proximity of people (assuming this was Squiggles). Regardless of the odds, not bothering to go down and search
for the hindered turtle would do it no good at all and depending on how much fishing line it was trailing it might be in dire need
of assistance. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I drove down to the spot and in talking with divers who had just come out of the
water found that the Trilogy group had just left and none of the divers I spoke with had seen the turtle although they had heard about it.
Keone happened to still be around and he was encouraging in informing me that the turtle had been seen leaving the area but returning
just before Trilogy weighed anchor. So I swam out there and started looking around. I checked a hole I had discovered that Squiggles
liked to nest in but no turtle. After swimming in the general area for about a half hour and getting ready to call it quits, out from the dark,
beyond visible range, came a small turtle and in no time I recognized it to be a small hawksbill sporting some fishing line:
Indeed this was Squiggles and as she approached me and I her, I could see her working her mouth and bringing her front flippers
forward in attempt to dislodge or somehow get rid of the line.
I just hung with her for a few minutes sizing up the situation and letting her get used to my presence. I saw that there was
no hardware or hooks visible and figured that if I could get close enough, grab the fishing line and then slide my rescue hook
knife up to the side of her mouth I could quickly cut it and leave that which she had ingested to nature. At one point when she
stopped fussing I dove down grabbed the line and did cut it right next to her mouth. She shook her head a couple times and
opened and closed her mouth and then just settled down and back to cruising. I was concerned that I had alienated her but
she showed no concern for my presence and allowed me to get some more shots. In the shot below is she winking at me?
Closing her eyes in a turtle sigh of relief? At any rate, I took this as a sign that she wasn't mad at me or considering me a threat.
Ultimately she swam down to the hole I first looked for her at and settled in.
Squiggles is really a cool turtle and although the circumstances were not good, it was great to see her again.
Below is some of the line that I cut free and a pic of the rescue hook knife both where I have mounted it on my fin
as well as out.
I think this is a great tool to have on hand as it is capable of cutting line and rope but not being in the form of a
typical knife, difficult to accidentally cut yourself or a critter you are trying to help.