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    PHEBESS   300,923
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Turtle Babysitting - Night 2 (Friday)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

We arrived about 6:30, with chairs, and went to the far end of the roped off nest area - I told the people at the other end (all of 12-15 feet away) that I wasn't being unsocial, I just thought this would increase our chances of seeing the turtles if we spread out. DH went for a swim, I was so cold I was in overalls, sweater, AND rain jacket.

So basically it was a quiet night. Lots of people came through to see what's going on, we chatted, the Coral World people gave more scientific info. A group of teens from the Montessori school came and sat for a while, their community service project.

I had a box of chocolate truffles that a friend had given me, so we shared that with everyone as we sat and waited - I suggested we put a truffle at the edge of the nest area to draw the turtles out, but no one wanted to waste the chocolates.

So - it didn't rain, it was just moist and cool. By the end of the evening (10-ish) there were only four of us - I asked one of the Coral World science people if the nest seemed close to the high water mark, and he said yeah, it was a concern. We got onto the subject of how deep we'd need to go to hit seawater, so I lay down on the sand and dug a hole until I hit water - I had to dig until I was up to my shoulder before I hit water, but that's probably just under 3 ft, and leatherbacks tend to dig nests about 3 ft deep, so this nest may have a problem.

Anyhow, that was it for night 2.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 9/7/2009 1:32PM

    I'll keep posting turtle stories until they hatch. I just hope it's soon. And that we're there!!!! We didn't go Sunday night, DH was just tired. (He has several briefs due so he's working all weekend.)

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JLPNURSE 9/6/2009 7:27AM

    Love the turtle stories. LOL about the chocolates.

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PHEBESS 9/5/2009 4:04PM

    We don't get people here who steal the eggs - though they do in Costa Rica, we helped with a turtle protection program there and the group moves the nests to hide the eggs from poachers. (They also protect the nesting turtles, people there kill them for the meat.) We don't get much of that here.

The problem here is that people and animals interfere with the hatchlings. When the babies come out, birds, dogs, other animals will eat them. And people think they're helping when they pick up the babies and carry them to the water - but the babies actually need that time to imprint the location of the beach (using the magnetic fields of the earth, we were told) - because the females return to the beaches of their birth to make the nests and lay their eggs.

So we're there to just kind of make sure no one (or nothing) messes with the hatchlings - their due to hatch anytime this week or the next 3 weeks. It isn't an exact science, so we're hedging our bets, as it were.

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SAPNA. 9/5/2009 3:50PM

    Do you get bad people comming to steal the eggs? Such a horrible thing to do. Is that why you watch over them?
Myrna.

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