Day Nine, Pt. I

A bit premature maybe, but I wanted to blog when the memory’s still fresh, hence why today there’ll most likely be two parts.

As mentioned once or twice before, today was the big day for me. Virginia Aquarium with its turtles…and a few other samples of the local fauna.

We first took the normal tour, i.e. walk around by ourselves…and ended up at the 80.000 gallon tank holding six sea turtles and a few fish. They have three loggerheads, one male, two female, one female green sea turtle and two smaller breeds. I think I was spaced out again, glued to the tank kinda, from a conveniently placed seating area across. It was just magic. Yanno, watching them glide through the water. Especially the loggerheads are a curious bunch, considering that they can see the people just as well as vice versa, they do as much people watching as the people do turtle watching. I swear, one of them winked and waved its fins at me!

A quick tour through the rest of the premises was followed up by an excited wait for me. Melanie got us into a special behind the scenes tour, a unique experience for me, and, well, as Mel and I were the only participants, it turned extra special. We got to watch up close how they were fed, walking around on a catwalk, well, rather just an area around the tank that had a rail keeping us from falling in, while inches away staff were feeding the turtles. A lot of huffing, puffing and snatching around us. Just…wow. Some of them were distant, i.e. just snatched the food, gobbled and veered away until the next tidbit was offered on the prong, others remained close and actually wanted to be scritched and rubbed. Unfortunately though not by us, but, hey, I’ve NEVER been that close to one, let alone four of them, as only the loggerheads and the green sea turtle came out to play…errrr…feed. Amazing, just amazing, especially as they were target trained…. They do accept volunteers for their turtle program, they even have an emergency care station which handles about 80 turtles a year…now if we ever move into the area, I know where and how to spend my spare time….

Now let’s see about the pictures…I hope they work out like that. Shame I only had my SonyEricsson Phone, but… Let’s see…



…and I have proof that I didn’t just watch turtles. Really. Honest. Here: Not even a swimmer!!!

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