Friday, June 16, 2006

The trip to the coast

I'd never been to Corpus Christi before, or Padre Island National Seashore. Wow, I didn't realize we had oceans that appear green and deep blue and with beautiful vegetation-covered dunes along the Texas coast. A far cry from the ugly Galveston coast. Poor Savannah got the stomach flu for a day. Or food poisoning maybe, because no one else got sick.

We all still had plenty of time in the ocean - the waves were amazing. It was the best boogie boarding/body surfing I have ever experienced! We rode the waves all the way into the shore at times!! It was so cool. I love the ocean. At the hatchling releases, it was really neat to see the little critters scurrying so very slowwwwwly to sea. They are so tiny. I've seen greens, loggerheads, leatherbacks in the wild and Kemp's (in captivity) but never Kemp's in the wild. One a single day I was there, I saw a hatchling release in the wee morning hours, a dead loggerhead adult that had washed ashore, and 5 Kemp's nested but they were so far down the beach (it is 60 miles long) we only made it in time to get the eggs, which are transported back to the lab for incubation.

We also walked down to the jetty, and there we saw several juvenile green turtles. A couple of teenage boys were fishing and they caught a spotted eagle ray. I was hoping they'd let it go - as they pulled it up it was just a stunningly beautiful animal. It was dark gray/black with white spots. It was hissing away, really angry (not surprisingly). They cut off its tail end to prevent it from stinging anyone with its barb. I hope they ate it and didn't just catch it for sport sake and kill it for no reason. Savannah cringed and it really affected her. It was good in the sense that she is even more appreciating the beauty of wild creatures and the sadness associated with needless killing. I am not a vegetarian nor opposed to hunting or fishing, but I do think we need to be cautious about which species we kill to eat, and some creatures should just be left alone. She has been reading books like HOOT and Flush by Carl Hiaasen and she said they really made her more environmentally conscious than she was before. This is great.

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