Georgia Sea Turtle Center & Driftwood Beach
What a glorious day! The weather was absolutely perfect, blue sky, sunny, and by mid-afternoon the temps in the 70’s. We started our morning by driving back to St. Simons Island and had breakfast at the 4th of May Cafe. Food was good and the service was great. We got joking with our waitress (I think her name was Jane) and she laughingly told us she was going to get us a treat! When she came back from the kitchen she said that the cook had been experimenting and she gave us what looked to be a baking powder biscuit topped with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. The experiment was a success – it was very yummy! On our way out we were talking with the owner, Flo, who was trying to entice us to come back for dinner tonight for either fried oysters and their prime rib special. They are very busy in the summer but this time of year, it is a little slow so it was obvious she was trying to drum up business. We initially thought we would go there but after bicycling for hours, we were too tired.
After breakfast, we headed over to Jekyll Island. Each day that you go onto the island you have to pay a “parking fee” of $5.00 (all the brochures say $3.00 so my guess is that they just increased their rates). Even if you stay at a campground or hotel on the island, you have to pay this daily fee although there must be an exemption for residents.
Once on the island our first stop was the Sea Turtle Center which is Georgia’s first sea turtle rehabilitation, research and education facility. Many of the exhibits focused on how fragile the sea turtles are (only 1 in 4000 hatchlings survive) and the perils they face against humans, predators and nature in general. Included in the general exhibit area was the hospital room where they actually treat the turtles. Brief films were available showing laparoscopic surgery, how they feed the turtles with a feeding tube, and other procedures. After viewing the exhibits, we went outside and into the area where they keep the sick turtles. Since turtles don’t reach adulthood until 35 years of age, all of the turtles in rehab were still considered sub-adults. There were a number of loggerhead turtles and green sea turtles in huge tubs, each with a history of why they were there, how much they weighed and what their treatment was. Some of them had suffered accidents from a boat, one had to have a flipper amputated, others had bacterial issues or were unable to stay underwater due to excess gas in their systems. The ones who couldn’t stay underwater had weights attached to their shells to keep them below the surface. Most of them would be released back into the wild (even the one missing a flipper) but a few who couldn’t would be sent to zoos. The admission charge was $7 but it was well worth it. Watch Ziva the Diva, a green sea turtle, enjoying her lunch on You Tube (click on the text to access). To feed the turtles, they have a section of PVC pipe with holes that they stuff with lettuce leaves and cucumbers and is placed into the pool.
More photos of the sea turtle center below.
From there, we headed over to Driftwood Beach. It was a short walk from the parking lot at the Fish Pier. Lots of major trees had washed up on shore – someone had told us that it was a “must see” and that it looked like something out of “Jurassic Park”.
We spent the afternoon bicycling around the island but I’ll do a separate post on that.
Hi Linda and Rob!!!
The blog looks great!! The places you are visiting look amazing. My parents just left this morning and are on their way to Florida. Hopefully I can see you when I come down in Feb.!! Have a great journey and enjoy the sunshine:-)
We are the couple that met you on Jekyll after your bike ride. It was a pleasure to meet you both and nice talking to you. We are looking forward to our adventures as well and appreciate your help and input. We would love to meet up with you again. Let us know when you are coming back through Georgia. We could get together for dinner or something. Have fun and enjoy your road trip!!!
Linda – The Sea Turtle Center was very interesting. I didn’t even know there was such a center. Good narrative.
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