Director: Nick Stringer
United Kingdom, 2009
[caption id="attachment_43896" align="alignnone" width="700"]
Newborn Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchling on the beach in Juno, FL.[/caption]
I am a Loggerhead turtle.
I break out of shell and sand. I traverse the land to reach the sea. The crabs and gulls see me as prey, but I am determined, I must satiate this driving hunger that permeates my being, I must continue forward.
It is along the Gulf Stream that I navigate. Heading north on my float-sum raft with companions in the shape of sea horses and fish that have camouflage exteriors to mimic the vessel we reside upon. I am still soft shelled. I need to grow and rest.
A strange stillness envelopes our journey. We have been driven off course into a timeless Sargasso sea. Within moments a great beast obliterates our raft, tossing apart what kept alive my companions. I am alone now. I must use my arms to regain my sense of direction. I search and search. I swim through swamps of black sludge that sticks to my body. I pass the carcass of a turtle just like me, hollow in the eyes, covered in thick oil. I pass beautiful shinny float-sum. I am so hungry I eat it, but it does not break apart. It does not taste like anything. Ahead of me I see translucent orbs with beaded strands swaying in a breeze created by the creatures. Their movement is hypnotic. Their movement entices me, fuels my hunger. Is that a fish I see, encased in their arms, encased in death? I can't tell, all I know is that I must eat this tantalizing creature. The first bite releases delicious chewy sustenance. In this consumption I am aware that eons of ancestors developed a tolerance to the poison, to make food out of an enemy. I again am hopeful. I know I can find my way out of this limbo.
Back in the Gulf Stream. How long has it been? I am older now. Larger, but still not as large as the magnificent humpback whale. Or the sleek blue shark. I trail behind them on my own journey, but I am curious about where they go. How long have they been making this voyage? In the North Sea the sky above the roof of the ocean sends down torrents of water droplets. It sends down thousands of hands that thrust apart portions of the surface, making waves, colliding with each other. I am too small to fight this energy. I give up and allow the current to take me towards the imposing rocky pillars of the shore.
Tranquility again. I swim away from the stone island, in a sea that is rapidly cooling. I makes me sleepy, as though I could just rest forever. But at night, I see the magnetic beacon. The shimmery curtain of light in the sky. I reminds me of my journey. Of the path I need to continue to follow.
Back south I have broken free of the Gulf Stream and head towards the warm waters of the Azores. In this place I can truly rest and build up my strength. Among the schools of fish and coral, are others like me. Some have been here a long time. Some are just arriving. I see their shapes floating by and wonder what their paths were like. I burrow into the sandy floor and sleep.
29 May, 2010