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July 2020 - Flight of the Navigators

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This item is password protected and available to members of The Geocoin Club only. If you are a member of The Geocoin Club, you will receive the month's password in club newsletter email.

Design By: Chris Mackey 

Dimensions 45 mm Wide

Thickness4.0  3.5 mm

Finish Shiny Nickel
Enameling Soft Enamel

Trackable? Yes

Has Icon Yes

July 2020 - Flight of the Navigators

Design notes from the artist:  

For quite a few years I have thought again and again about designing a sea turtle coin, but the timing never felt right and I wasn't feeling inspired, but lately the inspiration of slow and steady progress through incredible diversity has changed that perspective for me.  For people all over the planet and throughout history the turtle has been a symbol of tremendous strength, steadfastness and wisdom.  It feels like a time when we could all use a bit of that spiritual connection.

I grew up among native tribes of the Pacific northwest from Washington, Oregon and Alaska along with quite a large number of kids from the Polynesian, Micronesian and Melanesian south Pacific islands.  I've always been inspired by their combination of art and oral traditional history keeping over written word and the highly spiritual connection of people living in unity with the earth.  So when I thought about designing a sea turtle coin, I knew I had to incorporate those styles along with the ideas of these people.   Whether seen as a god-like figure with the Tahitians, the war god of strength for the Polynesian tribes or as the ultimate athlete in balance with the sun, moon, stars and currents for the Maori of New Zealand, the sea turtle is a singularly special cultural and spiritual totem of these people.  They appear again and again on ceremonial, religious and cultural artifacts imparting their spirit of strength.

While researching for this project, I was amazed to learn just how athletic these beautiful creatures truly are.  While slow and lumbering on land, once they reach the ocean water they soon take flight and navigate incredible distances at extraordinary speeds.  Scientists have been studying these athletes of the sea for years and every time we think we can't be more suprised at their record breaking swims, they'll shatter records again.  The latest findings show turtles swimming more than 22,000 miles in just two years for a single migration.  For perspective, that's you or me swimming 1.5 Million lengths in an Olympic size swimming pool... without a day of rest!  They can accomplish the feat with exacting precision through a combination of solar, lunar, stellar and magnetic field orientation that we still haven't completely divined.  

On the face side of the coin, I've portrayed a Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia Mydas) aka the Pacific Green Turtle navigating it's flight between hatching grounds and feeding grounds surrounded by the keys of it's navigation of sun, stars, moon and electormagnetic fields which they can determine from their moment of hatching.  These clever animals can even determine direction by the simple lapping of waves on the open sea!   In the band of the compass rose is the Ahu ahu matoroa pattern signifying talent and athletic achievement among the Maori people.  On the reverse is a traditional South Pacific styled tribal art depiction of the sea turtle as a benevolent spirit surrounded by the Hei-Matau (fishhook), a symbol of strength and respect for the sea at the top.  The Koru Aihe (dolphin), a symbol of travel and openness to friendships lies to either side.  The Koru (ground fern) lies bracketed below for peace, purity and tranquility.  

I hope you enjoy setting these navigators out into their flights around the world and spreading a bit of that spirit of strength, steadfastness and wisdom.  It's a time when the whole world can use a bit of grounding in spirit and openness to friendship as we reflect on our connection to each other and our planet.  

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