Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Madonna, Joy, and the turtles

We found out this morning that the earliest repair day is Friday, as special parts (o-rings) needed to be ordered and won't be in until Thursday. Knowing this, we have rented a car at least until Friday, so that we can do some sightseeing with Madonna. So after settling into our new surroundings this morning and after washing the boat, Madonna and I set out to find an ice cream store and to see the Marine Turtle Center, here in Palm Beach Gardens. A wonderful Italian market is just up the streeet with wonderful gelato and after the boat washing was just what we needed.

The Loggerhead Marine Center has a display about sea turtles, their habitats, and efforts to protect them. There are several tanks with turtles that have been found injured in the ICW, that are brought to the center, treated with surgery, medication, and diet for about 3 months and reintroduced to the ocean. Turtles are given a name that had never been used before and range from a young 5 lb turtle to 193 lb mature turtle. The Jupiter/Juno Beaches are a major area where the turtles lay there eggs. When the babies hatch they return to the ocean, enter the Gulf Stream, spend part of their young life in the Azores, and return to South Florida to lay their eggs. A volunteer told us that one of the turtles they treated last year was found in Australia this year. Madonna and I were amazed at the number of volunteers there during our one hour visit- at least ten, young and old, who volunteer their time there. We were able to view a turtle that had just had surgery (his fin removed), who was still intubated. Another turtle was having a wound debrided in the surgery center. Most injuries are caused by boat propellors. Sad! Unfortunately, there are no pictures, even though we both brought our cameras. We were so busy talking to volunteers that we forgot to take pictures.

Madonna is becoming an excellent 2nd mate, cooking a vegetable fritata for breakfast, and scrubbing the deck.

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