July 2, 2013
I had Laura and her friend Patti with us. Laura first came to Singer Island in 2007 for the annual Central Michigan Universities summer break program. Laura told me she had such a great time on that college trip, that she wanted to ask if she and her friend could accompany me and my group while we did our nesting surveys during the first week of July while they are on vacation.
It was a busy morning today, and along with lots of nesting and false crawls, we excavated our 3rd hatched leatherback nest. As I dug down into the nest to collect our hatchling success information, I pulled out two stragglers.
The first one was pretty sleepy, but the second one was much more peppy. Unfortunately, neither one was quite ready to be released into the ocean at that time. Therefore, Donna and Mark took them up to the Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, to be held until they could be released sometime in the dark of the night.
You won't see any leatherback hatchlings in the tanks at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, because this species will continually swim into the sides of the tank and clunk their heads. They will be placed in a cool, dark container lined with sand until they can be released. The darkness of the inside of the container will calm them down and help to keep them quiet. Some are released to the ocean during the dark of the night, and some will be "VIP" turtles and given a boat ride out to the sargassum seaweed beds, about 10 miles off our shores. We are so lucky that we have such a wonderful sea turtle rehab facility right in our backyard. If you haven't visited it yet, please make sure you take the time to do so.