The next few blogs are going to be a combination of Wildlife information and the corresponding information on our boats with the same names.
We will start with the smaller boat we have named Turtle at BluWave Boat Rental, which is a 2015 Carolina Skiff JVX18. This is a flats-fishing boat that has a capacity of 7, more than 3-4 fishing and it is crowded. This boat has a live well, pole holders, a center console helm, a leaner seat, 5” Lowrance GPS, depth, and fish finder. All our boats are fully USCG safe with jackets, throwable, fire extinguisher, flares, sounding device, lines, fenders, and anchors. This boat, like the other Skiffs, is being updated with all new upholstery in the next couple months as well as being detailed by our resident Kat Savage who does an excellent job and has an immense knowledge of all the chemicals and cleaners needed for all surfaces, metals, and fabrics. I am sure you will be impressed with this boat if you want a great, inexpensive, flats boat. This boat can be trailered by you if you are insured, experienced with loading and unloading boats, and have a place to keep it. This boat is only $200 a day ($1050 a week) plus tax and gas.
It is appropriate to name one of our vessels “Turtle” as the Suncoast is a major turtle nesting area. While Green turtles, Hawksbill, Leatherbacks, and Ridley’s all nest along the Florida gulf coast, the most prolific is the Loggerhead. These nests are located all along the sandy coasts in the Tampa/Sarasota region. Nests are marked off on Egmont Key, Shell Island, Honeymoon, Caladesi and many other areas to protect their nests during incubation. When the babies hatch and begin the treacherous journey to the sea, visitors, homeowners, and other residents are encouraged to reduce lighting use and other things that can add to disorienting the babies on their short trek to the water.
Turtles, if left alone as they begin egg laying, will lay over a hundred eggs at a time, maybe 2-8 times in a season each. The most dramatic part of their lifespan is probably the time from hatching until they race into the water. Shore birds are among their most fierce predators as they dash to the sea. After reaching the water, the next hurdle is surviving the predatory mass of creatures waiting to feast on the new little critters. Those that survive the transition will live to continue this cycle year after year.
Many people also have been hunters of Turtle meat, turtle shell for decoration, and turtle eggs for delicacy foods also. Turtles are protected now but there are always still poachers out there to beware of. Most governments have enlisted the help of volunteers to help watch for nesting females and help mark and patrol the nests during incubation times. This has helped but must continue to be encouraged to maintain the population of these awesome marine animals.