I arrived last night at about 7:00 PM central time. After renting a car and locating my hotel I found myself at the Audubon Aquarium of the America's (AOA) center checking on sea turtles! I met up with Dr. Cara Field (veterinarian at AOA) , Dr. Innis (veterinarian at the New England Aquarium, his reports on oil spill rescue are here, here, here and here.) and Dr. Tuttle (veterinarian at the Mystic Aquarium) and we headed back to the facility to do the last turtle check for the night. Unfortunately my camera was at the hotel so no photos of my activities last night.
To the best of my knowledge the weather was not cooperating yesterday and I believe the vessels were not able to go out in search of oiled turtles. As a result, no new sea turtles were collected.
The vessel surveys appear to be very successful in catching turtles. Below are some photos from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facebook page of the turtle rescues at sea.
In this photo a Georgia Department of Natural Resources senior biologist surveys the slick for sea turtles. You can see the capture net, usually called a dip net, at the ready next to the biologist. (Photo: Georgia DNR)
Dr. Brian Stacy removes a small turtle from the dip net. As you can see the turtles are so covered in oil that it is difficult to determine species right away. (Photo: Courtesy NOAA and Georgia DNR)
Dr. Stacy begins the oil removal process. The turtles receive their first round of de-oiling on the vessel. Once back at AOA a more thorough bath will be given to each animal. I haven't experienced it yet so I'm not entirely sure how many baths it takes to free them, externally at least, from this substance. (Photo: Courtesy NOAA and Georgia DNR)
That's all for now, I have to meet Dr. Innis and head over to the facility for morning exams and treatments.
Side note: The weather here is about as hot as it gets, especially for a northerner! I thought my lungs were cooking with every breath last night.... and the temperature is predicted to rise to record heat for this time of year over the next few days. We will be working in temps with a heat index of approximately 105+. Those of you who know me know I don't like the heat and humidity - lucky me!!!