BRADENTON BEACH – Following in the flipper tracks of predecessors Bortie I, Eliza Ann and Amie, a female loggerhead sea turtle named “Bortie Too” was satellite tagged on Coquina Beach after nesting this morning and set free to “race” in the Tour de Turtles marathon.
The project is a partnership of the Sea Turtle Conservancy, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, and sponsors Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club in Holmes Beach and Bortell’s Lounge in Anna Maria, for which she is named.
Bortie Too will compete in the Conservancy’s 12th Annual Tour de Turtles race beginning on Aug. 1. The three-month event is part of an ongoing research project tracking satellite-tagged turtles to determine where and how far they migrate. The Conservancy uses satellite telemetry to track turtles released from beaches in Florida, Costa Rica, Panama and Nevis.
The loggerhead – or other turtle species – that logs the most underwater miles wins the marathon.
Amie, named for Anna Maria Island and sponsor Anna Maria Elementary School, finished the 2015 race in last place, in true turtle style; 84 loggerheads hatched out of her nest while she was in the race.
Eliza Ann, named for sponsor Waterline Marina Resort’s restaurant, made the Island proud, taking first place in the 2017 race, and nesting twice on the Island.
Bortie I came in 10th place out of 13 contestants in 2018, traveling 351 miles, lingering for most of the race off Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys.