Monday, October 14, 2013

Turtle Safari #2

So one night of turtle safari wasn't enough for us.  I talked Brad into going out another night with hopes of seeing  a baby sea turtle makes it way into the water.  I sort of got my wish from the very start.  We found this baby turtle all by itself in the middle of nowhere.  I think it was suppose to get dumped into the pool of babies by the ranger station but somehow missed it and was wondering around so I picked it up so it wouldn't get stepped on and carry it all the way to the beach.. and let me just say that sounds easy but it wasn't.  Try carrying a baby that has an instinct to flap its flippers to try to swim.... that little thing had SO much power I thought I was going to drop it a couple of times!  The kids would ask to carry it but that never lasted long... the flippers would freak them out!
After walking the long hike to the beach (I was still holding the baby), we found one momma that had just finished covering up her eggs.  There was a large group of people tonight and they were all gathered around her as she made her long climb back to the water so...
while that was going on I took my baby close to the water to release it.  I was called off by the rangers so I wouldn't go too close to the water and scare off any other mommas trying to come up so I just had to set my baby down in the sand and be happy with the picture I did get.
I went back to watch the momma make her way to the water.  Watching her catch a big wave after the effort she made to get to the water was amazing!  I just felt a sign of relief for her as her journey ended and the hard labor was done!  Breath taking!  After the momma was gone the rangers were trying to quickly get us off the beach.  Knowing everything we saw last night, I was bummed that this safari was over.  All we saw was one momma make her way to the beach, no coming to shore, digging a hole, covering a hole, nothing.  Last night we saw 3 mommas.... tonight, only one.  Most of the families left but there were about 3 of us that hung back hoping to see something else....
and I was SO thankful we did!!!!  As we were leaving, baby turtles just started popping out of the sand!!!  We were seeing a nest of turtles (that were laid about 4 months ago) hatch!!!!  Amazing!!!!
As we watched these babies just pop up out of the ground... and several at a time... Owen looked at me and said, "Mommy, you got what you prayed for.  You got to see your baby turtles!"  My heart was filled with joy.   It was moving that amongst the excitement of it all my little man remembered what I had prayed for and was excited to share that with me!  What an amazing gift and experience that we all shared!
As all of the babies were coming to the surface, the ranger was scooping them up and putting them in his thobe, he had made a little "bowl" to put them in.  I wasn't sure at first why he was doing this or what he was going to do with them but I realized that with all of the people around in the dark it probably wasn't safe to let these babies try to make their way to the beach by themselves.  They could get stepped on or the light from our camera could confuse them so to be scooped up and given a bit of a lift to the water was the safest thing!
Once all of the babies were gathered, we made our way to the top of the slope to the water and the ranger let all of the babies go!  WHAT A SIGHT to see this nest of 70-100 babies make their way to the water and be swept out with a huge wave into the big ocean!!!!  Amazing!  So blessed to get to experience such a sight!
After all of that excitement, the rangers made sure we left after that.  I'm sure we scared several mommas away.  As much as we wanted to hang around, I knew we got to experience the whole process from start to finish at different stages these past two nights.  It was time to leave and give those mommas some peace.....
and our kids were anxious to go back and see the babies in the pool!  See, we didn't stop at the beginning this time because there were SO many people and it was hard to get in and see the babies so we passed it up to take our little straggler to the beach.  Now, we had the pool to ourselves and the kids had so much fun exploring.  Owen was so sweet with Ethan and helping him hold a baby turtle!
Brad and I wonder how much little E was actually getting out of the whole experience but let me tell you... 2 months later and he STILL talks about the "baby turels"!  He said, "I hold it.  I hold baby turelss.  It nared me (It scared me)!  He is saying that when the baby flapped its flippers that scared him.  I love that he still holds that experience so dear to him and LOVES to talk about it!
This was an amazing experience we will never forget and I hope we get to share this with family or friends one day!!!!  I would love an excuse to go back here!!!

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