Just Call Me Sherlock

I’ve turned into a spy. Since my husband has had some heart problems, and since he sometimes goes to our rural cabin by himself, I now track his phone using the app “Find My Phone.” I admit to feeling uncomfortable about the whole thing, but Frank’s okay with it, and it’s a sensible precaution, so I tell myself to simply pretend I’m Sherlock Holmes.

Lately, I’ve had a little practice spying on, of all things, a turtle. A friend gave me a gift which includes a bracelet made of sea-colored beads and a QR code which tracks a female loggerhead by the name of Babs. I think of her as mine and show off her picture to anyone who’s interested. I also know her measurements. She’s more well-endowed than most female loggerheads with a 103 cm. shell compared to the average 90 cm. I also trace her route. 

Florida’s Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge released Babs with a satellite transmitter so, sleuth that I am, I often watch her activities. I know she swims mainly off the coast of Florida, where my husband and I happen to be right now, and has traveled over 3,000 miles. She laid a clutch of eggs on August 26th. Sea turtles spend 4-7 hours resting on the ocean’s bottom when tired. This morning, at 3:52 a.m., she was south of Key West, heading toward Havana, Cuba. I don’t suspect any covert activity, and I think she’s probably only happily munching on invertebrates like mollusks, but I plan to keep my eye on her.

Have you ever tracked a turtle? If you walk along the sandy beach of the Wisconsin River in late May through June, you might have seen the tracks of leatherback turtles in the sand. The marks left by their claws and tail are easy to identify. A few times I’ve also seen where a furry masked bandit has discovered the nest, dug up the eggs, eaten them, and discarded the leathery outer shells.

Yesterday, when my husband and I got to visit another trackable species, the Florida manatee, I met fellow Sherlocks. A male and female warden at Blue Spring Park described how they keep their eyes on the manatees, especially those who need rehabilitation. They fitted them with tracking devices and attached a rope and buoy to their tails to warn boaters of their presence. The female warden told us they’d needed to transport a stressed manatee yesterday by truck and described how a team of eight used a sling to lift it out of the water. The Blue Spring wardens record the number of manatees they see every day and post it on their website.

I look at the clock and realize I’ve gotten so caught up in spying, it’s time for my husband and I to head out to meet friends for dinner. I call for him, but he’s not in the house, so I check my tracking app. His phone is just outside. 

Grinning, I flip up my collar, tilt down my hat, and head out to nab him. Elementary, my dear Watson. Elementary.

3 Replies to “Just Call Me Sherlock”

Debbie Gille

Love this story. I recently also learned about the bracelets that can track different animals. So Cool….enjoy your travels Sherlock!!

Thanks for reading, Deb. I hope you’re enjoying your new home.

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