The Keys

By Molly:

I’ve not done a blog post in a long time. my family and I have done a lot of stuff since my last blog post. First thing that happened was we got to meet friends that we’ve been wanting to meet, the Wilsons. Then daddy’s friend Ron came and stayed with us for 9 days. We had a bunch of fun with him. He stayed with us from Naples to Marathon. We had a bunch of fun in Key West. We saw a bunch of wild roosters.

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I got to throw swords to a street performer.  It was a little bit scary but cool.  They didn’t look too sharp but they had a huge blade.

In Marathon we got to see the Wilsons again.  We swam almost every day with them.

We also went to the Coast Guard station.  Here are three things that I learned there.  First, they have a rope that they throw so if a boat is trying to get away from them they throw the rope and it gets wound up in the boat’s props.  Second, there is a 45 foot boat that they don’t use that often and a 33 foot boat that they use most of the time.  Last, if one of the coast guard boats flips over it will flip itself back over because of the air tubes on the sides.  At the Coast Guard station I got to sit in the coxswain’s seat.  I learned that means captain.  I also got to try on a life vest.  It holds knives, whistles, flares, flashlights, an epirb, and a couple of other things.  It was very heavy.

Also in Marathon we went to the Turtle Hospital.  It used to be a motel.  The people that work there that are on call 24/7 have two motel rooms to live in.  I learned a lot at the turtle hospital.  There are 7 different species of turtles.  Loggerhead turtles can get up to 400 pounds and 4 feet long.  They eat crab, lobster and shrimp.  Hawksbill turtles eat sponge.  Kemp’s Ridley turtles get up to 100 feet and 2 feet long which is not that big for a turtle.  Kemp’s Ridley turtles lay their eggs in the middle of the day, not at night when it’s all dark outside.   Green turtles can hold their breath for up to 5 hours.  Green turtles only hold their breath that long when they are resting.  They don’t actually sleep, they only rest because they have to remember to come up for a breath.  Other species can hold their breath for 5-45 minutes. I learned that leatherback turtles are named that because their shells are soft like leather.

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The turtle hospital finds the turtles that need to be rescued because they tend to float to the top.  One reason they float to the top is that they eat a lot of trash out of the ocean causing infection and bubbles inside of them.  The people that work there give them vegetable oil, Beano and Gas X to help clear what is blocked.  Many of the turtles have growths almost like warts called FP tumors.  They can grow on the fins and the eyes.  The hospital removes them and then they have to stay for one year to make sure no tumors grow back.  If a boat hits a turtle and takes a piece of the shell out that piece will not grow back.  Also when a boat hits a turtle they can get a condition called “bubble butt”.  Fun Fact, one of the turtles is actually named Bubble Butt.  Bubble butt happens when a boat hits the turtle.  Air gets trapped under their shell from muscle and nerve damage causing them to float to the top.  The rehab workers put weights on the turtle’s back when they have bubble butt so that they can still dive.

If a piece of fishing line falls in the water off a boat it will take up to 600 years to break down.  It gets smaller every year.  Turtles have pretty good vision under water but it’s not the best above water.  Turtles can swim up to 30 mph but they usually just laze around.  Mayonnaise is used to clean off an oil spill.  There is a special kind of net that lets a fish in and can’t get out but the turtles can come in and get back out of the net.

I had fun in Marathon.  We are now in Islamorada.  AnnaMay and Ella got to come with us yesterday on the boat and we got to swim and hang out with them for the whole entire day.  Then we had to say goodbye to them. Boo hoo.

 

By Madelyn:

We walked to the turtle hospital.  We learned they need sunscreen too.

 

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A little hard to see but zinc oxide sunscreen all over the shell

 

Next I learned there are 61 turtles at the turtle hospital.  Leatherback turtles can dive down 4,000 feet.  If a boat hits them part of their shell can break off and it won’t grow back.  Also, if they get hit by a boat they can get something called a bubble butt where their bottom floats to the top.  They can also get these things that bubble up and they are called pink tumors.  There are seven types of turtles in the world, one of them are green turtles and another is leatherback.  Green turtles can stay underwater for up to five hours.  I loved the turtle hospital.

 

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