Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Green Turtles Nesting

Last night Nick took the kids ashore on Lady Musgrave Island at 10:30 pm. The moon was up, the tide was coming in, it was a perfect night for a spot of turtle watching.

They saw a small Manta Ray in the lagoon under the dinghy on the way in. That in itself made the trip worthwhile, but the true highlight of the night was watching several Green Turtles in various stages of nesting in the sand at the top of the beach.

Nick and the kids stayed ashore for four hours (we decided not to take Eric in, as his Cockatoo-like screeching would have been enough to scare away every Green Turtle within 50 nm.... causing some sort of drastic population decline that'd be talked about for years to come), and were able to quietly watch the whole process of a turtle coming ashore, dragging herself up the beach, choosing a site, digging a hole with her flippers, laying her 100 or so eggs, filling in the nest, and then making the arduous journey back down the beach to the water.

Nick tried to convince the kids that he'd probably seen these same turtles being born about 30 years ago on Lady Musgrave Island (adult female turtles returning to where they were born to reproduce from the age of about 30 years onwards). The kids were dubious at first, but came round to the idea in the end. Only time will tell if the kids will make the journey back out here to say the same thing to someone else!


Anonymous said...

Hi All, just caught up on the Blog, what can I say, the pics are beautiful, clever girl Emily,the adventure amazing. I feel very insignificant in the great scheme of things. The turtle experience is a life lesson which will be with the kids forever. What a shame Eric is too young, you may have to do it again, but that won't be so bad!!! That's always presuming the endangered green turtles are still around.
Wish I was there for a fresh fish dinner. Well done with the fishing!! LOL

Richard said...

I can only imagine your desire to be there to backup the 30 year story with their kids! We live close to an area for turtle nesting and I have never seen it take place. Seen the nests: seen the drag marks: never seen mommy turtle. Hope they get to witness the dash to the water for the hatchlings. The kids are really living large! And with a very fortunate mum & dad.