Latitude 17N

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Julian and I went on a sea turtle watch last night. We met up with a turtle watch group that we heard about through one of the faculty spouses. She was lucky enough to witness a leatherback turtle laying some eggs. You can see the pictures from her outing at this link...
We did not see this particular turtle or any turtle on our outing but we saw where a turtle had nested on a previous night. The season for the turtles is just beginning so we might do another outing but we'll have to see. You have to go out after dark so it is hard to keep Julian up that late. We started out at 9:00 and walked the length of Airport/Lovers beach which is a good 1/2-3/4 of a mile. You have to walk in the dark so you don't disturb any turtles that might be coming ashore so it is kind of weird. On the walk in you keep your night eyes peeled for any turtles or tracks. When you get to the end you sit for about 45 minutes or so and then start walking back to see if anything has come out since the walk in. We saw some tracks and one nest but that was it. We will be going out to the beach in a few weeks in the morning to see if we can see some baby hatchlings. It takes 50-70 days for the babies to hatch and the leatherback was there on June 2nd so I am hoping we might get a glimpse of them before coming home for the summer. It is just a hit or miss operation. This group goes out 3-4 times a week during the peak season so they tend to see a lot but it was the first time they had seen a leatherback in action. They take measurements and tag the turtles so they can keep track of them. Julian had a great time and impressed them all with his sea turtle knowledge. He also gave them a demonstration on how a turtle builds their nest.  Posted by Hello


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