Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Saving Sea Turtles in Cozumel

Our first stop of the cruise was in Cozumel, Mexico on August 9th. Royal Caribbean has a partnership with Explora Caribe for a tour that includes an incredible experience to help save baby sea turtles. After reading some reviews it sounded pretty incredible and our whole family was super excited as we headed out that morning.
We got off the ship nice and early so we could find a place to get our passports stamped before meeting up with our guide. We ended up needing to walk to the other pier but it was close and we found some great authentic tacos from a little lady that definitely made it even more worth it :-).
I never like doing tours with the cruise line because you are with other people and there always ends up being quite a bit of waiting around, but sometimes there is no way around it. Our group was small at least and after a brief stop at a little beach (where they tried to get us to buy things :-), we were off to the sea turtles.
We were met at another beach by a few biologists who had some nests ready for us to help with. Overnight these nests had hatched and most of the turtles dig their way out on their own and head off to the ocean. In effort to help these populations of sea turtles to increase, they dig out the rest of the nests to find the turtles that weren't able to get out on their own for whatever reason and help them get to the ocean too. Over the last couple years since starting the program they said they have seen a great improvement in the number of sea turtles. So we helped the babies in the nests but also dug out all the egg shells so they could count how many made it on their own as well. Our nest had 4 babies still in it and the one next to our had 8 (and 82 eggs total between the two). Once we were done digging out the nests (Mike was the champion digger by the way, they were super deep so he had to lay in the sand to dig down all the way) we got to release the turtles into the ocean. It was super cool!
There was another stop after the turtles at a recreation of a Mayan village. We weren't super thrilled about the stop when we found out about it but it ended up being much more entertaining and educational than we expected, so in the end it all worked out.
That evening we got back on the ship, cleaned up and it was time for dinner and then more Olympics watching before bed!
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turtle tracks from the mama turtles
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ready to work :-)!
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I laugh everytime I see this picture haha! Their reaction to watching..
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this guy :-).
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I think this is actually from our first night, but I just found it
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these are some of my favorite pictures from the trip because the kids were having so much fun doing them
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