We planned for a day of turtles, and we got MORE than we expected!
First, Mr. Larry Wood (soon to be Dr.), gave an informative presentation at the Pura Vida headquarters to prep us for our turtle experience. After lunch at the Thirsty Turtle we headed over the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach.
The Marinelife Center rehabilitates injured sea turtles which are then released back into the wild. The original designer of this center, Larry, gave us the grand tour! There were 2 kemp’s ridleys, a few greens, one loggerhead, and tons of hatchlings. Hopefully we’ll see these guys out on the reefs once they gain more strength.
After our “land” experience, we boarded Sirena for 2 dives in search of untagged Hawksbills (Larry’s main focus). Only 10 minutes into our first dive on the Corriodor we saw a loggerhead, a juvenile green, and a tagged hawksbill! Then when we got to the Amaryllis there was our untagged hawksbill we had been searching for. She was quite a fighter on the way up but we made it on to the boat safely. Our second dive on Mid Reef was also filled with turtles! Larry was able to capture a larger, a somewhat calmer, Hawksbill on this dive. Both turtles were tagged and cataloged into Larry’s database.
Hawksbill Tagging Procedure
1. Measurements of the turtle:
2. Attaching the tags (ouch!):
3. Tissue sample:
4. Glamour shots:
Once all the tagging work was done, each turtle was released slowly off the back of the boat in the same location she/he had been brought to the surface.
Keep your eye out for our new turtle friends:
Hawksbill #1: UUJ 926 & UUJ 927
Hawksbill #2: YYJ 886 & YYJ 887
If you spot these turtles, or any other tagged hawksbill, please report the numbers to Larry Wood or the Florida Hawksbill Project on facebook or if you’re onboard Sirena please let our crew know. Thanks for helping with this vital research!
*Please remember that all of the people shown handling these turtles are authorized to do so under a permit. It is illegal to pursue, touch, or harass these animals in the wild. Hawksbill sea turtles are protected by State and Federal Law.