Waties Island Nest Count

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nest 2 Inventory! 8/6/2014

Today was, as usual, a beautiful day on Waites island. Everyone piled together in Barb and Steve's large pickup truck for the inventory--and it was STILL necessary to make two separate trips. These little turtles have no idea how much excitement they create.

Soon after making our way to the beach, Barb & Steve took us back down to the nest (accompanied by Paulette) and we proceeded to dig. As usual, there were many volunteers to get their hands in the sand for this fabulous event. 
The sand was pretty packed down from all the rain we've had lately. It took a while of digging before we made our way into the egg chamber. There was one perfectly hatched eggshell right at the surface of the pit, but the very next thing we found was...

 A baby sea turtle! Holding one of these little guys never gets old. Of course, as soon as he was pulled out, we quickly got him to the water's edge to begin the start of a long journey.
 Immediately after, however, more turtles were found...
And still more!
After uncovering a fifth turtle, it was decided that some of the soft sand be kicked back in so the clearly relevant numbers could have a chance to climb to the surface on their own--this time with looser sand on top rather than the hard crust the rain had made.

 Those who did make it out, however, were escorted to the water and given a shady trail made by the legs, feet, and outstretched t-shirts of willing volunteers.

Almost there!

All the turtles released swam successfully and made their way out to the water. We all cheered as the final little head came up, took a breath, and then disappeared beneath the breakers. Barb and Steve then made the two trips to return volunteers and guests (all happy from the encounter) back to the shed before returning a third time with a cage to cover the disturbed nest site.

The customary trench from previous seasons was dug, and a cage was planted loosely in the sand to protect the turtles in the coming days in case a predator might disturb the revealed pit.

Meanwhile, I managed to get a shot of a magnificent phenomenon rarely captured on film.
Barb and Steve, our intrepid and impossibly humble leaders, who appear in few photos even when apart--are BOTH IN THE SAME PICTURE.

I'm just waiting for my call from National Geographic.


  1. Jingle, that was great. I LOVE the picture of Barb and Steve and the very true caption.
    PS Is the book published yet?