Where’s Bortie Too? In first place!

Where's Bortie Too
Bortie Too is in first place in the Tour de Turtles. Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch says it looks like she went back for her phone. - Sea Turtle Conservancy | Submitted

SOMEWHERE NEAR THE EVERGLADES – Bortie Too has caught her second wind, rocketing into first place from 10th place over the past week in the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s 12th Annual Tour de Turtles.

After a fast sprint to Key West from west Florida’s Gulf waters, she focused on the mantra “Just keep swimming” and headed straight for the Bahamas, then changed course back towards Key West, racking up 447 miles since the race began on Aug. 1.

Bortie Too nested twice on AMI this year; she was tagged and released after nesting on Coquina Beach on June 21, then nested a second time on the Island before beginning the race.

The loggerhead sea turtle is participating in the race to raise awareness of light pollution, which can disorient nesting and hatching turtles, a problem on Anna Maria Island.

The annual event is part of the Conservancy’s research project tracking satellite-tagged turtles to determine where and how far they migrate. The group uses satellite telemetry to track turtles released from beaches in Florida, Costa Rica, Panama and Nevis.

Bortie Too is sponsored by the Conservancy, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring, Waterline Marina Resort in Holmes Beach and Bortell’s Lounge in Anna Maria, for which she is named.