This new Margaret and Jacquelyn map—which is a close up of where they are today—shows them swimming almost neatly down the middle of the Atlantic. I think this map makes that expanse of blue between Africa and South America seem small–as though our turtles are a stone’s throw from either side. It is easy to forget looking at a map just how far those distances actually are. And what is consistently incredible to me is that the turtles swim the whole way. Imagine it—one flipper stroke after another taking them in a matter of months distances we could never swim ourselves—distances it takes us hours and hours to cover on an airplane. Over a decade ago, I read an old report about the anatomy of a leatherback. There was a list of scientific notes that were foreign to me like: “Parietal bones lack descending processes” and “Palatine fenestra also absent.” And then, a few lines down were the words “enormous swimming muscles.” That phrase still sticks with me. Enormous swimming muscles.
Just keep swimming