The DevOcean Issue Preview: ConR-A-D Carr – Operation Milagro

         Point Dume surf prodigy Conrad Carr hits the high seas to save the endangered vaquita porpoise.

Conrad Carr surfing in Malibu during a recent swell. Photo by Lyon Herron
Conrad Carr surfing in Malibu during a recent swell. Photo by Lyon Herron

“Last winter I went down to the Sea of Cortez in the Gulf of California to be a part of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Milagro. We were out there trying to save the endangered vaquita porpoise. There’s less than 60 left in the world so it was a pretty intense, dire mission. We were out on a boat all day chasing down illegal fisherman and looking for vaquita. It was my first time actually sailing. We were on the R/V Martin Sheen, a massive “pirate” ship, gold and elegant. I climbed aboard and felt like a young Jack Dawson, when he first got on the Titanic: young, wild and free. I met the crew, learned the safety precautions, and got my watch hours of 12:00 AM to 3:00 AM and 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

It feels like a dream now, scanning the horizon for hours searching for poachers by night and looking for the vaquita by day. After dinner I would go out on the deck and watch the stars. I’ve never seen the sky so vast, so open, and so beautiful. The Big Dipper was right above the ocean. The Milky Way was so clear. There were a million stars in the sky as we sailed across somewhat bumpy seas. One night there was a crazy storm. The boat was rocking up and down viciously. I was trying to sleep in my tiny little top bunk when the roof of my bed caved in on me with all this dust and stuff. It was crazy. I just put my head in the pillow and held on so I wouldn’t fly off. Overall
it was a crazy experience. I felt like a true sailor, or pirate, out on the sea, looking for a lost treasure, the rare vaquita porpoise.” Conrad Carr

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