well the first tropical storm of the atlantic season put a crimp on our plans for tonight but we did manage to get out there. gusty winds, huge waves, and a dangerous beach made my passes on the ATV interesting! I was careful to ride far enough away from the beach scarps though, so it was fine. the wind was really something. going south, it blew directly into my face. we decided that we would work out of the Marinelife Center tonight (me, niki and chris) in case it got bad out. I rode the ATV while Chris and Niki used the old method (on the north section) of driving and night scoping. on my first pass I was just trying to pay attention so when I saw the big black turtle it startled me at first. it's really so rough and the scarps so large that I didn't expect to see anything. Scorpio had managed to find a smooth approach and was getting ready to lay eggs. I checked her tags, took a couple samples, marked her nest and moved on quickly - trying to minimize my time out on the beach. we all hung out in the office between passes and listened to the wind howl. on my second pass, I was waved down by a couple of people at one of the public beach access points. they introduced themselves - Mike and Jimmy had just finished playing a gig with their band at the Waterway Cafe and had come out to have a look at the beach. Mike asked me if I'd seen any turtles and I said that it had been quiet so far. then he excitedly told Jimmy about a night a couple years ago when he'd been on the beach and had seen Sandy the turtle. I nearly fell off my bike! that was 2002 and Sandy was one of our satellite turtles that year. Turns out that Mike had been one of the people who watched us put her harness on and had witnessed the excitement we all felt that night. he said it was really something seeing the world renowned expert (Scott Eckert) and all of us working to get the turtle outfitted. Mike said he'd even followed Sandy's progress until her story ended sadly in NJ. It was so cool to hear about that night from someone else's perspective and it brought it all back for me. I related the story to Chris and Niki when I got back to the office, and we reminisced for a while. quite a coincidence running into Mike! that was all we had for the night and we are turning in early - it's storming away out there now as another rain band moves across south Florida from Tropical Storm Arlene (now nearing the panhandle).