Turtle Babysitting - Night 10 (Sunday)
Monday, September 14, 2009
DH stayed home, though we had dinner early so that I could get to the beach before sunset. There were still a lot of weekend beach parties going on - lots of music - as well as people wandering all around.
As I walked down the beach with my chair, rain jacket, and bag with water, flashlight, umbrella, I said good evening to an older man. He asked what we were doing. I explained that we were waiting for the turtles to hatch. He asked why. I said to make sure they get to the ocean, don't get eaten by birds or crabs or whatever. He said, are you sure you aren't going to take one home? I assured him that I wasn't, the turtles would stay right there, we were going to just ensure that they get into the sea unharmed. He then said, "No offense to you or any of the others, but turtle meat is dam' sweet, and if I see one I'll eat it!" I smiled, pointed a finger at him, and said, "That's the OTHER reason we're protecting them!" He laughed and walked off - I went to our group and related the story, and they laughed. Fortunately, only our old-timers seem interested in eating the turtles - and hopefully they're dying off!
I got my stuff settled, and sat a moment - there was a family group with two kids, maybe between age 6 and 9, somewhere in that range, a boy and a girl. The boy was dunking his head underwater, and he came up screaming "A turtle! A turtle!" The mother and her sister (I'm guessing here) turned to me and said "Is this one of your baby turtles?" because it was a juvenile (like a teenager, they spend their youth in protected bays before going out to sea as adults) - I laughed and said it's a cousin, which caused laughter amongst our group, especially when the mom called to her son "She say it's a cousin." So I went down and talked to them about turtles, showed them where we think the nest is, that the babies will be tiny (just a few inches), that we were waiting, they should hatch any day now - the kids had lots of questions, including the boy who asked if the turtle would bite him - I said no, they mostly like jellyfish and he didn't look like a jellyfish at all. Apparently he came face to face with the turtle underwater, he said he only saw the face - I guess that's what scared him, they were pretty close. So I explained that turtles are our friends and we need to take care of them. They chatted for a while, then went on their way.
So, I sat, it was a nice night, we chatted a bit, I went home. The nest area has one spot that is sinking and becoming a more obvious circle, so we think that's the exact spot of the nest, and that we're getting close to hatch time. As the babies move around, in their shells, it causes the sand above the nest to sink down - so that's what we're seeing. This is a good sign.
Let's hope Monday is the night!!!!!