Virginia Turtle Release (Super Turtles Returning Home)

Recently, the New England Aquarium Rescue Team released 17 rehabilitated turtles off the coast of Virginia. This post by team member Adam recounts what happened that day.

It's 2:30 a.m. when my alarm sounds. Though, I haven't really been sleeping. Today is the day we are bringing 17 of our sea turtle to Virginia to return home to the great big blue!

Returning the turtles to the sea!

After arriving at the Quincy facility for 4 a.m. we quickly start pulling turtles for final exams and to give them fluids for the close to 12 hour car ride down to our release site.

In the first picture above, the turtle assembly line is in place as one of our interns Elizabeth (right) and our volunteer Sarah (left) bring the turtles to be loaded onto the truck. In the second picture, another of our great volunteers Kali checks off each turtle as they get carefully placed into the truck by Kerry.

The fully loaded van with all 17 turtles and gear ready to make the long journey south.
Of course not as long a journey as Charlie and I took last year.
We were ready to leave at 7 a.m.
Once at the release site upon opening the back door of the SUV we were
greeted  by this lovely site. Beast trying to get a good breath of the sea air!

The ridley Spiderman returns to the sea above. Of course always the photo lover the turtle had to stop to get one more good profile shot before making a final jaunt to the water.

Heading down to the release site with the last batch of turtles.

Getting ready to release Juggernaut the loggerhead. After the turtle was back in the water Charlie and I were able to follow the wake the turtle created and saw him come up for one last breath before heading into deeper waters.

A beautiful end to a beautiful day. Hope those turtles are enjoying the delicious blue crab!



Pictures from the release

The Rescue Team just released 17 healthy turtles from the 2011 stranding season. Learn more about this event here. In this post, Adam piques our interest with some fantastic pictures of this bittersweet occasion.

Sue Barco and Maggie Lynott from the Virginia Aquarium get ready to place two of the Kemp's ridley sea turtles on the beach.

Away they go...
Getting ready to release the last group of turtles.
Connie (foreground) taking one of many pictures right before the turtle gets back into the ocean. Dr Innis in the background just released this turtle.

As we sort through photos and recoup from a crazy trip we will get you the whole story.
Maybe tomorrow? Stay tuned...