During President Obama’s vacation, I was driving down Middle Road in Chilmark because a portion of South Road was closed during his visit. As I was passing by the Keith Farm, the car in front of me suddenly stopped on the right side of the road.
A green sea turtle named Quiddick that was rescued from the chilly waters of Cape Pogue Pond 11 months ago reentered Vineyard waters last Friday as a fully recovered wild animal.
A crew of New England Aquarium personnel, together with a veterinarian with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries service in Woods Hole, watched with pleasure as Quiddick and an even more rare Kemp's Ridley sea turtle named Kiwi moved from the beach to the surf. The release took place in the early afternoon at Long Point Wildlife Refuge, owned by The Trustees of Reservations.
The body of a leatherback turtle, a federally protected endangered species, washed ashore at South Beach on Sunday. Volunteer members of the turtle stranding committee said the cause of death was not immediately apparent.
“There was no sign of an injury,” said Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary director Suzan Bellincampi. Ms. Bellincampi said the turtle was in a state of decomposition and had likely been floating for awhile before washing ashore.
These shelled oracles have inspired much advice. Australian athlete Bill Copeland advised us to “Try to be like the turtle — at ease in your own shell.” Wise Dr. Seuss observed that “All the turtles are free – As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.” And a Jamaican proverb rightly notes that “Sleepy turtles never catch the sunrise.”
Weathermen are not the only ones confused by this year’s unseasonably warm winter weather. Off the Cape and Islands, this winter more than 100 sea turtles, tempted to linger in the balmy waters, have met a cold and sandy end.
“This year I’ve seen more turtle strandings than I’ve ever seen in my 12 years here,” Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary director Suzan Bellincampi said on Thursday.