If you’re in a Charleston beach house, you may have seen evidence of a popular local icon.  Few Lowcountry critters are as beloved as the giant loggerhead turtles that nest on the beaches of our barrier islands each summer.

Though adult loggerheads may weigh several hundred pounds and are agile swimmers, these majestic giants are surprisingly vulnerable.  Due to many man-made problems, they now need our help to survive and hopefully thrive once again.  Challenges that come against them include boat/propeller strikes, disease, ingestion of garbage or plastic bags (which resemble jellyfish when floating at sea), disruption of their nests, human development that encroaches on their breeding grounds, and light pollution that confuses the little hatchlings as they leave the nest and try to find their way to the ocean.   This is why “Lights out for Loggerheads” is encouraged for beach house rentals Charleston SC  –  Isle of Palms vacation rentals, Folly Beach rentals Charleston, and basically all homes that are oceanfront.  More about that in a minute.

Loggerheads are all around your Charleston beach house

Loggerheads are all around your Charleston beach house

Luckily, the South Carolina Aquarium located in downtown Charleston Harbor has a Sea Turtle Hospital that rehabilitates injured or sick turtles.  Over the past several years, they have nursed back to health hundreds of loggerheads (both adult and juvenile), as well as other sea turtles like Kemps ridleys, green sea turtles and hybrids.  A visit to the Aquarium is a great activity for all ages staying in your Charleston beach house.

When turtles are released back into the ocean after having been at the hospital, it’s become a hugely popular celebratory event.  They often take place at the Isle of Palms County Park, right near your beach house Charleston, especially if you’re in a luxury house on Isle of Palms.

Crowds line a large cordoned-off section of the beach, and aquarium staff and turtle team volunteers hoist the turtles off the truck, then usher them down toward the water as people cheer wildly and take photos.  On a past turtle release, a couple had come all the way from Australia for vacation just to see the turtles and witness their return home to the sea.  Turtles nursed and released through the program are named, and some are tracked via GPS units to study their progress.  Some of those released include Lady Lisa, Cape Romain, Hook, Dewees, Murray, Edisto, Stingray, Lighthouse, Pier and Grover.

Jammin’ for Jammer near your Charleston beach house

This Wednesday night (Sept. 28th) from 7:00 till 10:00, The Windjammer on the Isle of Palms will host its very popular and fun annual fundraiser to support the turtle hospital.   It’s in honor of Jammer, a loggerhead who was rescued near the Windjammer in April of 2011.  He was lovingly treated and brought back to life and health at the hospital before he was released back into the ocean a year later.

Here’s more about jammer from Mary Pringle, turtle team member and friend to wildlife of all kinds, as she wrote in the Island Eye News:

For those of you who are not familiar with Jammer’s story, he washed ashore near death, suffering from debilitated turtle syndrome, and was taken to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Turtle Hospital. After receiving excellent care there, he was released in May of 2012 at the Isle of Palms County Park, near where he was rescued.

The before and after photos did not seem to show the same loggerhead. The healthy, robust sea turtle carried for release by Isle of Palms Fire Department Chief Ann Graham and Windjammer co owner Bobby Ross was strong and ready for a new chance at survival.

It is especially exciting for the Turtle Team to be part of the effort to raise funds for the aquarium’s upcoming $5 million Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery exhibit, which will offer a learning landscape focused on the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sea turtles.

This state-of-the-art facility will combine the best medical care with many special interactive educational activities for children and adults and is slated to open in the spring of 2017. Being on the southwest side of the main floor of the building will make it much more visible to the public, and special two-way glass walls will allow thousands of visitors to view the turtles and their daily care without any disruptions. Among the impressive improvements are an exercise pool and a CT scanner.

Here’s a link to the full article:  http://islandeyenews.com/turtle-lovers-invited-join-end-season-party-windjammer/

At Jammin’for Jammer, there will be plenty of live music (by Sweetgrass and the Knuckleheads) as well as food from many favorite Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island and Mount Pleasant restaurants near your Charleston beach house, including:

  • The Windjammer (of course)
  • Morgan Creek Grill
  • The Boathouse
  • Acme Lowcountry Kitchen
  • The Village Bakery
  • Coconut Joe’s
  • Luke ‘n Ollie’s Pizzeria
  • Long Island Café
  • Banana Cabana
  • Sea Biscuit Café
  • Triangle Char & Bar
  • Saltworks Dockside Deli
  • The Dinghy
  • Home Team BBQ
  • Taco Mamacita
  • Harris-Teeter

There will also be a silent auction with great items like works by local artists, brunch with famous New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe, and tickets to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  They’re also raffling a very special quilt that’s all about the loggerheads.

Suggested donation is $20, and all proceeds go to the Sea Turtle Hospital to help others like Jammer get better and get back into the wild.

The Windjammer is located at 10th Avenue and Ocean Boulevard on the IOP, convenient to all our rental homes South Carolina, especially our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.

Loggerhead hatchlings near your Charleston beach house

Loggerhead hatchlings near your Charleston beach house

REMINDER   –  Keep Lights Out for Loggerheads near your Charleston beach house… 

Nesting season takes place from May till October.  We’re in the prime season right now for the hatchlings to emerge from their nests and head to the water.  They are drawn to the reflection of the moon off the ocean, and artificial lightning confuses and endangers them.  If you are staying in one of our luxury beach house rentals SC, please be sure to turn off all exterior lights that face the ocean after dark. 

The Island Turtle Team does yeoman service keeping track of the local turtle scene.  Their website: http://www.bergwerfgraphics.com/

So be a part of helping these gentle giants of the sea.  And remember, when you are looking for SC vacation rentals, to call Exclusive Properties.  We’ll hook you up with the perfect Charleston beach house.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger