Who is Jade?
I'm Jade - I love the energy of the sun, the saltiness of the sea and everything marine. I am based in the sleepy town of Falmouth, Cornwall, studying Marine Biology at the University of Exeter, and dash off to be with the turtles during my long student-y summer.
I am not Cornish by origin, but definitely by heart. I made the leap to pursue a life studying the sea, by the sea, and Cornwall has played a huge part in who I am today (oooo aaarh).
When I moved to Falmouth in 2016, I was in the right place at the right time and a keen bright-eyed, bushy-tailed Jade came across a determined Meg and Falmouth Marine Conservation was born. FMC has been a huge part of my life, immersing me in Cornish wildlife and community. I have been super privileged in my short time in Falmouth to be accepted so wholly.
FMC then lead to Plastic Free Falmouth... and this is where my turtle life and Falmouth life merge into one big marine-y world of conservation and plastic-y shenanigans!
(More about plastics later!)
Turtles & I ...
How does a girl from Falmouth come face to face with warm-water species of marine sea turtles? Enthusiasm, elbow grease and tenacity that knows no bounds.
At 11pm (ish) on a sandy beach in Northern Cyprus I came across my first ever Green Turtle, admittedly, from a distance, in the pitch darkness, it could quite easily have been a rock. I was assured it was not a rock. Then the sand flicking started, it was definitely not a rock. As we shuffled forward, using the worm/army crawl technique I soon became to master, I could see her carefully laying her shiny eggs into her nest and I was hooked.
Over two months of nocturnal turtle watching and tagging, one has lots of time to ponder over the question 'What is this turtle doing...?' . Yes, turtles are sweet, they are beautiful, but as a group of animals they are also intellectually challenged. Some choose to lay practically in the water, others spend hours and hours trekking up and down the dunes, exhausting themselves so much that they actually decide to return to the sea without laying their eggs - their only reason for venturing onto land.
Long story short, eight weeks was not enough to answer all of my burning questions, some of which are more scientific than simply 'What is this turtle doing...?' - but all essentially boil down to that.
So I had to go back - more of that to come!
So, why a blog?
I want to share with you, why I do what I do, how I do what I do and my discoveries, thoughts, experiences all of which will be turtle related.
I depart for seventeen more weeks of turtle-time on the 28th May this year, and in the run up to my departure I want to share some of my memorable experiences from last year, my goals for this year and how I'll be prepping for another turtley awesome adventure.
Stay tuned for posts about plastics, turtles, hatchlings, copious amounts of sandy suncream and some sweaty video-blogs!