We are photographers in Delray Beach, Florida but, usually, we document people. Today we got to photograph Loggerhead sea turtles.
My good friend Gary is a turtle volunteer and he gives us the wonderful opportunity to watch him dig up turtle nest on the beach! This week we went twice and got to see him dig up 6 nests!!! We saw 3 Leatherback nest and 3 Loggerhead nest. Leatherbacks are the largest of all living turtles, they also are the 4th largest reptile. I also thought it was interesting that a female leatherback often returns to the same nesting areas where they were born to lay their eggs. Sadly, only 1 out of 1,000 hatchlings survive to adulthood. Leatherbacks are currently listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
The children had a great time playing at the beach. They would take breaks in between watching the digs and playing in the ocean. It is so enjoyable to see my children so carefree and enjoying summertime. It makes me feel like I must be doing something right to have them so happy. At the dig, there must have been 20 people or more watching. When they dig them up they usually find baby hatchlings stuck at the bottom and they count how many eggs were in each nest if any didn’t make it. At the end of the night when the sun goes down they will release all the healthy baby turtles. Very interesting for the children to see and learn about the sea turtles cycle of life.
The healthy sea turtles get released into the water if they are up to swimming a far distance. If they need to rest, the volunteers bring them to Gumbo Limbo so they can gain strength before their long travels. They travel thousands of miles, Leatherbacks have been sighted as far north as Labrador in the Atlantic and Siberia in the Pacific.