Winding the clock back to 2007. Camping at Mon Repos – Australia’s most significant loggerhead nesting site.
Saw a fella and his wife who were putting on their yellow hard hats each night, bathing in Bushmans mozzie repellent, then hitting the beach (that’s closed to the public after dark) with buckets and an oh-so-hipster canvas bag. My 15yr old self was keen to know what they were up to and how I could get involved.
Decided to accidentally on purpose run into them both the next morning.
They were turtle volunteers, helping the research crew to gain data on the turtles that were coming in to nest on Mon Repos.
Duuuuuuuuude!! I want in.
The couple invited me over to the digs where there was a bunch of volunteers hanging out, napping and feasting before their night shift kicked off again. It was then that I met the man of all the action – Dr. Col Limpus. The turtle man, king of the beach and stories for days.
I was a little scared, to say the least, as he peered at me over his salty-air, fogged-up glasses and he asked why I was there, standing in his office. I felt myself going red, big time, and then told him I wanted in.
Eight nesting seasons later and I’m 100% addicted to spending days and nights learning about and living with turtles.
Since my first night monitoring turtles I have hit the water and got my Discover SCUBA ticket, got a bachelor degree in environmental science and eco-tourism and travelled to beaches all over the world to explore their ecosystems.
From Borneo to the Gili Islands, the Great Barrier Reef to pristine waters of the Philippines, my eyes have been opened and the fire in my heart to protect what I love has stayed alight.