Sat, 29 Jun 2024

When, over three years ago I first presented the idea to my good friend Rod Mast (turtle expert and CEO of the Oceanic Society) that, together, we could produce an amazing book on THE WORLD OF SEA TURTLES, I really didn’t know what I was letting myself in for, nor do I think did he!

It’s been a rollercoaster ride of intense adventures and equally intense challenges, of joys and frustrations, and more than anything, of rediscovering an animal I thought I’d known all my life.

— Sea Turtles Book in Progress.

Please check out this blog every few days, as I’m going to post a new story about each of the turtles I’m photographing, in parallel with my fundraising campaign to finish my upcoming book — I’m hoping to reach my goal in the next two weeks — thanks in advance!

Behind those limpid eyes hide many mysteries, Hawaii.

Leatherback turtle rising from the deep, Indonesia.

Like a fish in water, Galapagos.

A rare Kemp’s turtle makes landfall, Mexico.

When I say, ‘an animal’, I’m really referencing seven distinct species, of which I was truly familiar only with the placid, seaweed-munching Green turtle of the Galapagos Islands. But even this one, when I started looking closer, applying the eyes of a naturalist and the techniques of a photographer to scrutinize and interpret its subtle behaviors, sprang to life in ways I’d never noticed before.  It began capturing my imagination, morphing into an even more amazing creature than I’d ever considered. In short, I fell in love all over again. 

Here's a living being that demonstrates, through its mind-bogglingly ancient lineage, that life can be lived through eons, cataclysms survived, and oceans crisscrossed without a worry for the concept of time — something that seems to preoccupy our own lives disproportionately. Sea turtles arose long before the age of dinosaurs, like, tens of millions of years earlier. They somehow dodged Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor on their nesting beaches, and outswam Ichthyosaurs deep in the oceans. And when an enormous asteroid struck our planet some 66 million years ago, sending all those giants tumbling to extinction, sea turtles just swam on.

Hawksbill turtle eating sponges, Bali.

Now my ‘little project’ is simply to capture the beauty, mystery and grace — plus of course the all-round natural history — of these humble time travelers. Science has already provided many glimpses into their extraordinary feats of survival and resilience. Thanks to the prowess of new technologies such as satellite trackers, depth and light recorders, DNA analysis and other observations, we now know that sea turtles don’t just wander the oceans. Instead, they travel on pre-determined courses to finite locations to feed and breed. They can dive to unbelievable depths and stay submerged for prolonged periods by slowing down their heartbeat as needed, yet some can actually generate internal heat to be able to feed in sub-polar regions. 

Basking in the sanctity of a cave, Hawaii.

To do all seven species of turtles justice, I’ve embarked on a series of trips around the world, the list of which keeps getting longer rather than shorter. That’s why, to complete the book, I needed to set up a fundraising campaign; check it out.  And return to this site for more lively stories of individual turtle encounters in the days to come.

Returning home after nesting, Mexico.

If you like these sample images then please check out my Kickstarter fundraising campaign and especially the
incentive gift rewards I’m offering…
I’m nearing my target figure but since it’s an all-or-nothing goal, every donation, however small, will ultimately help me achieve the photographic results I’m aiming for.

My campaign notes feature many more images and a lot of information, plus I regularly post updates to my supporters.
Look it up via the following link…