Adding a little science behind our dives adds to an already enjoyable day. And there is no better person to bring this knowledge and entertainment than our good friend, biologist Larry Wood of the The Comprehensive Florida Hawksbill Research and Conservation Program. His work with our resident hawksbill sea turtle population has brought to light many new insights into the mysterious world of these wonderful sea turtles.
Our Turtle Day with biologist Larry Wood started off with Larry sharing with us his knowledge on the hawksbill sea turtles of Palm Beach. Thanks, in part, to his study we have found out the daily routine of some of these sea turtles. We know many of the ones we see here in Palm Beach are in their teenage years. And we even have a pretty good idea of their birth place. This information, and much more, is learned during these Turtle Day presentation and dives.
Learning the science is only half the fun, though! We also get to experience it firsthand as we dive alongside Larry Wood and his assistant as they collect important data. This entails logging information from any of Larry’s 100+ hawksbill sea turtles he has already tagged in the area. A unique flipper tag is place on each individual hawksbill sea turtle, which requires him to carefully bring the hawksbill sea turtle to the surface and on to the boat**. He takes measurements to help determine the growth rate (step one in answering that age-old question… How old do sea turtles get?)
Previous observations by citizen (diver) scientists, such as you and I, of these turtles helps biologist Larry Wood map the territory of these sea turtles. Photos and videos of these sea turtles is an important part of the science. Figuring out the hawksbill sea turtles diet, consisting primarily of sponges, might one day help bring better protection to our very important reefs in Palm Beach.
During our dives we encountered over three dozen loggerhead sea turtles and a previously tagged hawksbill sea turtle. In between dives we enjoyed wonderful dive conditions with warm, clear blue water.
Come join us during our Turtle Day with biologist Larry Wood. You will come to learn a lot more about our sea turtles and their importance to our marine environment. Call us for more information on our next turtle day.
*** IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER ***
Biologist Larry Wood has a special permit from the government that allows him to works hands-on with the sea turtles. Please do not attempt this yourself as it is a federal offense to harass an endangered sea turtle.