Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The beach at night and baby sea turtles
Last night we took a walk on the beach, expecting to see crabs scurrying around. When we arrived at the beach, we saw on odd silouette in the distance: a large mass of people with tiny red lights, all lined up from the dunes to the water. It was eerily and oddly quiet, and seemed almost cult-like. We had no idea what we were encountering. We approached and I asked what was going on, and one of the volunteers told me it was the annual migration of loggerhead sea turtles from their nest to the sea. From one mother turtle's nest, up to 150 babies find their way to the sea, with human guardian's guiding their way. I was told that out of 1000 baby sea turtles, just one will survive the 40 mile swim to the gulf stream and subsequent 20-year journey back to the place of birth. It was fascinating and while I was filled with optimism for the many little turtles we saw making the procession from the nest to the ocean, I am sad to think that the odds for each one to actually make it are so poor.
More from Emerald Isle tomorrow!
Photo credit: http://www.nps.gov/bisc/naturescience/images/Loggerhead_Sea_Turtle_Hatchling_credit_to_FWS.jpg