Friday, February 2, 2018

Winter On South Padre Island TX

Journey Continues to South Padre Island...

Upon discovering that sea turtles came to nest on the shores of South Padre Island, I HAD to come to see for myself! One of my most memorable childhood memories, was having a pet turtle. To see a turtle in its natural habitat, swimming free, is an incredible sight to behold.

Sea Turtle Inc is a non-profit sea turtle sanctuary and rescue organization on SPI. Fully funded by private donations and operated by dedicated volunteers.

Sea Turtle Inc was birthed into reality by
Ila Fox Loetscher in 1977, at the age of 73. Ila came down to Brownsville TX in 1965 to assist with the nesting sites of Kemp's Ridley sea turtles. Originally from Iowa and a contemporary of Amelia Earhart, a fellow female pilot. Ila fell in love with the turtles and made it her life's mission to protect them.

Ila appeared on David Letterman in 1985 with an Atlantic Green named "Gerry". To this day still in the care of the loyal volunteers of Sea Turtle Inc. Sadly, many of the rescued turtles cannot be released back into the wild, due to the serious nature of their injuries.

This little turtle was rescued last month in January. Injured by a boat blade, the cut into his shell created an air pocket. Unable to dive or swim he washed up on the beach. Discovered close to death he was brought in for treatment. A weight was epoxied to his shell, giving the wound time to heal and to help with buoyancy. This little fella is recovering well and will eventually be released.

Heading to South Padre Island Beach

South Padre Island consists of 34 miles of a coastal barrier sand bar. Coming over the Queen Isabella Causeway into SPI, you will find many vacation homes, hotels, convention centers, restaurants and shopping. The dwarf Palm tree lined Padre Blvd, the main street of SPI, turns into 100North. Follow that out of town to the public beach accesses.

As you can see, the sand does blow onto the road. Which gets plowed on a regular basis. Over the sand-dunes, you have Laguna Madre Bay to the left and the Gulf of Mexico to the right.

Yes, you are allowed to drive on the beach, with the proper permit. BUT make sure you know the local tide charts! The day was a little overcast and in the 60's. The water was a beautiful greenish blue and also in the 60's. The beaches are very well maintained. SPI is definitely a great place to winter!

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