They Were Awesome!

In spite of the weather Thursday, there was a damn big crowd on the beach for a weekday afternoon. They were forecasting rain in the morning and scattered showers in the afternoon. I took a chance and drove up there anyway. Must’ve been a common thought. 😉

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Can you see a turtle there? Neither can I. But it was there, behind all those people tracking it down the beach.

The Houston Zoo was going to release a total of 9 rehabilitated sea turtles they had been caring for. Some were Kemp’s Ridleys, 3 were loggerheads. All had been brought to the zoo due to some kind of injury.

It started spitting rain on me less than 10 minutes after I left the house, but since Stewart Beach in Galveston is over an hours drive from my house, I figured I might as well continue.

I made it to the beach and found the location for where they were going to release the sea turtles just in time for the start. Or what was supposed to be the start of the ‘show‘. No turtles, but the rain sure did start.

Surprisingly, hundreds of people still hung out (in the rain) for at least a half hour before the turtle delivery trucks showed up. The turtles were happily riding along in big plastic tanks full of sea water. It was another 15-20 minutes before the 1st turtle made it’s appearance.

Volunteers from the Houston Zoo, NOAA, and the Turtle Patrol were on hand to walk the turtle down the gauntlet of curious bystanders and explain a bit about them. Information sheets, pamphlets and stickers were passed out to the crowd too. Hopefully, this will help people know what to do if they happen to find a turtle or nest. So far this year, they’ve found a total of 159 nests on Texas beaches. They’ve even found 3 right here- 2 at Surfside beach and 1 at Quintana beach. 🙂

It was frustrating to follow the rules and stand behind the fences, waiting for the volunteers to come close enough where we could actually see a turtle through the crowds surrounding them. People were reaching up, out and over- trying to get a good shot. Many people were just allowed to ignore the barricades and follow the turtles from the truck all the way down to the water. Nice for them, but it ruined it for the rest of us. 🙁

Like the lady beside me yelled, “I didn’t come all the way from Indiana just to see your ass!”. So right!

I managed to get a few good shots, The zoo will be putting video and photos on their website too and I expect it even made the news Thursday night. Sorry, but I was just too tired the last couple of days to post this in time for you to turn on the news.

It was really awesome to be able to see this release in person. Happy it was daytime so I could get some decent pictures. I still hope to see a wild one someday. Without the crowds. If you see one, don’t bother it. All of them are endangered. “If you see a sea turtle, tracks or hatchlings on the beach immediately call 1-866-TURTLE-5 (1-866-877-8535)”. 

 

 

Saw Them- Barely

Went to see the turtles today (see here). Got to see them- barely. Too tired to give full report today.

Check back tomorrow.

See Sea Turtles on Thursday!

I just got this email from the Houston Zoo (I’m a member). They’ve been helping to save sea turtles with other organizations around the world. This Thursday (May 26th), they’re turning some loose on the beach in Galveston. 🙂

If you’re anywhere around the area, it would be a real treat to come out and watch. Here’s the announcement I got…

Watch Sea Turtles Return to Wild 

Thanks to a rewarding partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), nine injured sea turtles have been rehabilitated and are ready to be returned to the wild. The release will take place Thursday, May 26 promptly at 2:00 p.m. at Stewart Beach Park, 201 Seawall Blvd. The public is invited to come out and witness this exciting release.
I’m going to put it on my calendar and take another drive up to Galveston. That is, IF the weather is better than the last time I was up there! 😉
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I went to see the turtles when I was in Nicaragua too, but it was too dark to see much. I hope the weather holds and I can really see them this time.

Washed Ashore

I was at the Houston Zoo a couple of weeks ago. I always like to go there, watch the animals and take lots of pictures. It relaxes me and I’m a member, so it’s free. 🙂

Last time I was there, they were doing the “Zoo Lights” event and getting ready for this new exhibit: Washed Ashore.

I got a picture of one sculpture. I thought it was pretty neat. Very creative and a nice way to use up a lot of plastic junk and turn it into something beautiful instead of just leaving it as ugly old trash on the beach.

I try to help with the beach cleanups when I can, but there’s a LOT of plastic floating around out there in the ocean and we’ll never be able to clean it all up from the beaches, we need to stop it from getting in the water in the first place!

Yes, that whole thing was made with trash collected off the beach! Washed Ashore will be at the zoo from Jan 15-April 15.

Dunes Day at Surfside Beach will be Jan 23 (0900-1200). I can’t find the date for the next International Coastal Cleanup, but they should be getting it organized soon. It’s usually in spring (Apr) and fall (Sept). Here’s a link to the results from last year.

(and another post for Just Jot It January)

Busy in Houston

I came up to Houston yesterday for a meeting of the Nautical Institute about DP (Dynamic Positioning). I figured since I am a DP operator (DPO), I ought to go and see what they were talking about.

It was actually pretty interesting. I saw quite a few old friends and also got to ask a few questions of the panel. I brought up some of my concerns about the new scheme the NI has brought out on certification of DPOs. I hope the discussion there will cause some serious thinking about some of the problems with this new scheme (more on this later).

I got out of the meeting about 1630 and met up with some friends for dinner. We went to the “Grand Lux Café” over by the Galleria. We sat outside so we could smoke, but they STILL had to complain! I thought that’s why they had outdoor areas now. The food was good, but overpriced. I had no idea til I saw the bill, but it was over $100 for 3 of us (and only 1 drink each)! Next time I’ll stick to the Cheesecake Factory.

I stayed overnight so I could get up early to go get my visa for Angola, I’m supposed to be going back to the ship over there on Monday. They want me to be there by 0800 and I really didn’t feel like dealing with horrible Houston traffic for 2 hours first thing in the morning. Especially when I’ll be dealing with government officials! Better to spend the money for a good nights sleep.

So, I’m hoping it won’t take all day, waiting around the embassy. I’d like to check out some other things while I’m up here in Houston. Maybe go to the zoo later. Or a museum?

Colorful Creatures: Yellow

Here’s my entry for the Daily Posts Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow. I had some decent photos of the brightly colored fish that they keep at the Houston Zoo. I love to watch the fish swim around and interact with each other.

I really love to watch the jellyfish, but they’re not yellow.

I go SCUBA diving every chance I get (which isn’t near often enough). I can see lots of fish like these when I go. I still can’t name a dozen of them, but there is so much life around a healthy coral reef it’s unbelievable.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving!

At least this guy’s safe. I took his picture at the Houston Zoo. 😉

Thank you all for visiting my blog and a big special thanks to my followers. 🙂