Posted by: Doc Bruce | August 5, 2008

A Week Full of Sea Turtles

We never know if we’ll actually get to see the animals we study each week at Sanibel Sea School because this is after all, a field trip. And “the field” hasn’t read our summer plan. So it is with joy, amazement and huge thanks to the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation that campers at Sanibel Sea School got to see tiny turtles for Sea Turtle Week – not just one day, but two!
First, we got to see Rich Finkel dig a nest and count the hatched shells. And there in the sand, a little late but rushing to catch up, was a single straggler. And when we called Amanda Bryant to thank her for this amazing opportunity she said; “well, it’s funny you called. I just got an emergency call about a hatching right now! Do you want to come?” Wow, you have never seen 24 kids move so fast – towels, shoes, suntan lotion, on the bus. Singing songs and pounding out rhythms we made our way down West Gulf Drive and were rewarded with a sight few of us have ever seen – 44 little sea turtles in a bucket as Amanda helped them out of a mass of plant roots. We thank Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation from the bottom of our flip-flops to the tops of our heads for sharing this great experience with us and with others on the beach.

On Friday we were graffiti kids, spreading the word with sea turtle facts chalked on the sidewalks of Sanibel. Thanks to Richard Johnson and Francis Bailey for ice pops and permission to adorn Bailey’s sidewalks with our message. Thanks to Mark Marinello and Doc Ford’s for soda and permission there and thanks to Chrissy Basturk and Fresh Produce for letting us spread the word. And then, in the last moment of great good fortune last week, the Schuster family, having taken note of our sad trash pile grill, gave us a swanky new grill for Friday cookouts! Life doesn’t get better than Sea Turtle week.

If you ever have the chance to see a tiny turtle no bigger than a shell scrabble over the tidal rack and swim into a pounding ocean, do. It will remind you of how ferocious and fragile life is. And it will make you really, really happy.

So, waves were big. Turtles were seen. We made a beautiful sea turtle tile mosaic thanks to Kevin Johnson for tiles and grout. Got a new grill. Learned a lot about sea turtles. We wish a happy Sea Turtle Week on you too. Sanibel Sea School is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit dedicated to marine conservation through experiential education.

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