I have had the opportunity to accompany the Turtle Patrol recently on a patrol and several nest digs. I plan to volunteer for Turtle Patrol next nesting season. Anyway, 72 hours after signs that the nestlings have hatched and headed to sea, the nest is dug up. The eggs are counted – how many hatched, how many didn’t. Often, there are live turtles still in the nest who were unable to break through the hard packed sand. This is often a problem on beaches with sea walls or beaches that allow vehicles on the beach. Turtle patrol digs these little guys and gals out of the nest and releases them on the beach.
I know I’m not the only one who was THRILLED to watch these turtles begin their journey. On the first dig we witnessed, it was raining hard. Nevertheless, a woman brought her two young children out to watch the turtle release. The children were thrilled and were interested in the turtles. They didn’t care about the rain. Turtle patrol told the little girl they would name one of the turtles after her and some day it would return to this beach to lay eggs. That little girl was as happy as could be and I wouldn’t be surprised if she wound up as a biologist someday. I feel comfortable the future is in good hands when I see children like her.