On my morning beach walk about two months ago, I paused in front of my neighbor Lisa’s house to notice some tracks that I quickly recognized were from a sea turtle. I’ve seen the familiar tracks a handful of times along the beach, signaling that a pregnant female had swam ashore that night to lay her eggs. The tracks are then covered by the next tide, so if you don’t see them right after, you will never know it happened. As I followed the tracks up the bank where they converged (one set leading out of the water and the other back down to it), I found the pit! The eggs were well covered, but you could see the slight difference in the area from the rest of the sand. I quickly sent a text message to Lisa. She went out shortly after, surveyed the spot and marked it with stakes (as they do in other places along the coast where they know there is a turtle nest). In the subsequent weeks, she kept an eye on it to make sure dogs and birds stayed away. From what we read, the gestation period could be anywhere from 40-70 days (depending on the moon, tide, temperature and various other factors) and they can lay between 80-120 eggs! So we were watching, waiting and hoping we might get to see our little babies hatch and make their way into the ocean (although this most often happens during the night).
After 67 days of waiting, our baby sea turtles hatched today! Fortunately, our high tide was at 4:42 a.m. with sunrise at 6:09 a.m. While getting her morning coffee a little before 6:30, Lisa looked out to notice the disturbance in the sand pit and called me immediately to come down. (Thankfully, I’d forgotten to put my phone on airplane mode last night, which is my normal custom). Apparently most of the turtles came out in the dark at the high tide, but we got to watch the last few hatchlings making their way to the ocean. Thanks to Lisa for sharing her awesome photos and video – my phone battery died as soon as I got there. 😔
You can click on any photo above, to open a more close up version of the gallery. Also, here are a few videos of the exciting event (your can hear commentary from me, Lisa and our neighbor Wayne in one of them).
Sunday morning is always a day I stop to reflect on Jesus’ resurrection and our new birth. What a perfect day to also be able to witness this marvel of creation!
For more information regarding sea turtles and their nesting/hatching habits, here is a good website: https://conserveturtles.org/information-sea-turtles-general-behavior/