The morning of Sunday, March 23rd started off like any regular work day. I got up, took a shower & did a bit of social promotion just before heading down to where I keep my glass bottom boat. By 10:30am, I was on my way over to Necker Island where I was about to do the Limited Edition Tour of Necker Island. Like on every tour, I tell our guests why we are doing this tour & why Sir Richard has agreed to doing this tour on his private retreat.
Once we arrived at Necker, after my welcome speech, I tell my guests that the money from this tour is going a long way in terms of positive changes. The lemurs on Necker are the grandest attraction out of all the other species on the island. I explain to my guests that a percentage of the money is going to the lemurs to help them in every way we can. The lemurs’ habitat is being destroyed over on Madagascar because the government has no positive vision. Sir Richard Branson (“Richie” as I call my friend) is on a mission to help protect the lemurs by all means. Just few weeks ago, Richard wrote a blog entitled “Save the lemurs before it’s too late” http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/save-the-lemurs-%E2%80%93-before-it%E2%80%99s-too-late
I also take advantage during the tour to express the importance of protecting the sea turtles in the BVI. I let my guests know that rest of the money is going 100% just to that. Save the Turtles BVI or Save the Lemurs: “why not both?” When you book a wildlife tour with us to Necker, you’re saving a lemur & a turtle at the same time.
After our departure from Necker, another wonderful tour, and dropping off my guests, I found retreat for a Sunday lunch next to the ocean at a lovely place called the Fat Virgin Café at Biras Creek Resort. As I was eating lunch, the expression on a lady’s face made me look around and when I did I saw what happened to be a Hawk’s Bill Turtle. My mind was now racing fast trying to find the most relaxed & least negative way to approach the fisherman who just came in with the turtle. The fisherman will only react according to how I response & approach him. I went very humbly and softly, and asked if I could buy the turtle. The fisherman replied “Give me $20.00 and take it!” I was very surprise for two reasons: (1) the fisherman had agreed to sell it right away without thinking twice; (2) the price he first offered was mind-blowing! I was thinking he would charge $75-$150.00. He was willing and so calm; he told me $20.00 but I gave him $50.00. “I’m very happy.”
The turtle is mine and I have all rights to do whatever I choose to do: sell it for more money, give it to someone as a gift to eat, or let it go back to the ocean. I let it go back to the ocean. It’s my first choice. Turtles in general are endangered, not just in the BVI, but it’s a worldwide problem as well. I took the turtle who I named “Hope” to the coral reef just outside of Necker Island where she can be free & hide in between the coral reef.
I carved the name “Hope” on her shell and I promise you the engraving was nowhere close in hurting the turtle at any point. The name “Hope” is there for the next fisherman if she is ever caught again, but I really hope that doesn’t ever happen again. The fisherman did nothing wrong because he acted within the laws of the British Virgin Islands, and it is turtle season and they have that right. I really “Hope” that change has now been realized and will have a positive difference within the BVI and the World wherever people have read or seen the photos.
I jumped into the water with the turtle and before you know it, she was on her way to a second chance of not being turtle soup.
We all call for a positive change, yet to have a positive change, we first have to be that change. Someone has to be or take the first step. I just did and did not mind doing just that. I’m 100% committed to protecting the turtles of the BVI by all means. I am very lucky to have a team of excellent and change-driven people. I would like to thank our willing members for being part of the “G Team”, Gumption Team: Sir Richard Branson, Dina Mize, Kevin Lafond, and Maureen Reilly.
More info about the mission of saving the BVI turtles can found right on this blog sight or on Sir Richard Branson’s blog, where there are 4-5 blogs about Gumption and the BVI turtles. Also check out Facebook for “Save The Turtles BVI” and on Youtube.com/ Savetheturtlesbvi and our website www.savetheturtlesbvi.com.
Some of my top mentions and why it’s important can be found on Virgin Media. As one person, it’s really hard, but together, as a team, it is much easier, so please, do your part to make a positive impact in any way you can no matter where you’re located. Remember, lots of nations and flags, but it’s one Earth.
For one its really hard, but together as a team it will be much easy, so please, do your part to make a positive impact in anyway you can no matter where your located, remember, lots of nations & flags, but its 1 earth.