Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ponce Inlet Marine Science Center

This morning, we decided to visit the the Marine Science Center at Ponce Inlet, which was just a few miles south of Nana and Ba-Ba's place.  It was all rather spontaneous - we were looking for a place to park to see the lighthouse down there, when we wound up in this parking lot for the Marine Science Center.  It wasn't big, and it didn't cost much, so we figured why not?

It was a really nice visit.  Of course, we had all seen "Finding Dory" and the 'touch pool' sort of brought up a few jokes.  But there was an employee there all the time to make sure people were kind to the creatures in this pool, and there was a certain way, and distance, you put your hands into the water.  It kept things safe for the creatures.  Madison put her fingers out for the stingrays, who glided by below and let her run her fingers along their back.  Or top side.  And she even felt a shark!

That was new for Madison.  The Marine Science Center was a museum as well, of course.  And it is complete with oversized mosquitoes.

This is where the zika virus came from.  This guy right here.  This looked like a prop from a 50's science fiction movie.  Someone somewhere felt inspired:  No, I don't want to do a recreation of a dolphin, shark, or an ocean dwelling creature.  I want to make this ginormous mosquito!

Anyway, it was a fun visit.  There were plenty of other fish there to see as well, including this highly camouflaged lion fish below.

But the greatest thing about this place is the rescue-rehabilitation-release program they have for sea turtles here.  Outside, we saw several tanks with sea turtles that were on the mend.  We listened to a lady speak for a bit about sea turtles, about the nesting process - and we learned a few things about the colored ribbons they use to mark the nests, and how that determines dates, types of turtles and so forth.  Best of all, the lady invited Mommy, Daddy and Madison to a sea turtle release tomorrow.  Check this out:

The Marine Science Center Turtle Hospital is pleased to announce the release of two rehabilitated sea turtles this Friday July 22nd, 2016 at 12 p.m. in Ponce Inlet, Florida.   On the beach just North of Beach Street approach
After just over 2 months of rehabilitation at the Volusia Marine Science Center, “Nantucket” a sub-adult Loggerhead Sea Turtle has received a clean bill of health and will be returned back to the ocean this coming Friday. “Nantucket” arrived at the MSC Turtle Hospital on May 13th, 2016 after being found by county biologists under the Granada Bridge in Ormond Beach. The turtle was debilitated, anemic, dehydrated, and covered in leeches. After a treatment including antibiotics, antiparasitic medications, iron and other vitamin injections, fluids, and a well balanced diet, “Nantucket” has responded well and made a full recovery and now weighs 77 lbs.
“Madison” a juvenile green sea turtle arrived on April 26th, 2016 after she was found floating in a marina in New Smyrna Beach unresponsive, weak and covered in algae, with a low glucose level. These are all signs that indicated the turtle had been debilitated for quite some time. After a 3 month rehabilitation that included antibiotics, antiparasitic treatments, fluids for dehydration, vitamin injections and a highly nutritious diet, “Madison” has made a full recovery and now weighs close to 9 lbs.
We are so pleased with their speedy and successful recoveries and we hope you will all join us at 12pm on Friday, July 22nd, 2016 at the Beach Street Ramp in Ponce Inlet, just north of the Marine Science Center to see these incredible endangered species off on their journey back to the sea. *(weather and surf permitting)*

We'll be going to that tomorrow for sure!  And how cool that one turtle is named "Madison!"  Anyway,  we've had quite a theme of sea turtles going on here lately, haven't we?  As a souvenir from the place, we got a jade sea turtle for Madison, a sweet little reminder of a fun week here.

And oh yes, we did get to see the lighthouse as well.  

It is the tallest in Florida, and there is some history to it.  The weather, however, was amazingly hot outside, and the daunting task of climbing those steps in such plagued hot temperatures did not appeal to us.  Just standing outside involves a great deal of wear-and-tear.  The heat is tremendous.  It is cooler in the evenings, of course.  We'll come back some other time, of course, as Nana and Ba-Ba live right next to this place.  We did spend some time in the gift shop they have, and even got a pressed penny. 

The rest of the day was spent at the pool, and back at the beach again.  We were resting in the tidal pools once more, watching the waves come in, watching the fish swim around us, and keeping cool.  Later on, we had a round of "Pirates LIFE," the board game, as well.  With Madison, you keep busy!  We've been finding shells in the tidal pools, but not near as many as there are down at Satellite Beach.

There's a big political convention going on, but we're not really watching that so much.  We're busy playing pirates and making origami hats and boats.  That's the kind of week we're having - in other words, a pretty fun one!

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