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A day at the office

When I wake up at 7:30 am, everything is still quiet around our Coco. Fifteen minutes later I get out of bed, put in my contact lenses, put on some clothes and step into the dinghy with Jack. We are anchored in the bay at Mesolonghi and I sail to the shore with our antique two-stroke outboard.

As I moor the dinghy to a jetty in the marina, I recognize the typical snorting sound of a sea turtle in the water right next to us. The beautiful beast is entangled in a mooring line. It takes me a while to get it. At first I stand watching the turtle admiringly with Jack. Then I notice he’s trying to swim away from us, but can’t. He pulls the mooring line all the way taut around his neck in yet another frantic attempt to break free. I try to pull him from the dock with the mooring line so I can free him from the line. It doesn’t work. The beast is big and heavy and only panics more. I decide to call for help. The boss of the tavern doesn’t feel like helping. He’ll pass it on to the office when he sees them. I mumble something nasty in Dutch. ‘What I just said’, the man asks irritated. ‘I think the turtle needs help now and not later’, I say, ‘can’t you help me?’ ‘No’, I should just ask my husband. Well, let’s just say not all Greeks are always full of love for animals. I walk back to the dinghy, take off my dress to jump into the water, then think I might be better off trying from the dinghy. I’m lying in it on my belly. The Belgian guy, who previously also did not feel like a rescue, comes to have a look. He goes back to his yacht to get his boathook so we can lift the mooringline from both sides, but when he returns, the turtle has allready stopped moving. Quickly he pulls the animal up with the line. Immediately some life comes back in it, but in the meantime I can free him from the line, which is twisted around his neck. The turtle swims away relieved.

Yes! We just rescued a sea turtle from a certain death! And the day has yet to begin. I’m shaking on my legs and my heart is jumping, but life goes on around me. The Belgian gentleman notices that Jack is so calm. He has been watching my antics the whole time in the back of the dinghy.

Together we sail back to Coco. It’s high time for some morning coffee.

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