At the end of May, it is turtle-nesting period, when the Loggerhead Sea Turtles swim to the shore, go up the beach, and lay their eggs. Amazingly, these turtles go to the same place on the beach each year and come up only at night. A couple of months later, the turtles will hatch and the babies start coming up from in the sand. It’s a long haul, so the first turtle never makes it. Often many of the others don’t make it because they can’t find the water. Birds often have them for dinner.
My friend and I took an adventure around 1am, walking Vanderbilt Beach. Silently and carefully, we walked up and down covering about 3 miles. It had rained earlier, so the sand was smooth. In the moonlight we were able to see about eight tracks from the turtles. Some went up and then turned around, not laying any eggs. We found about two or three that actually did lay their eggs before going back out. You can see a mound of sand that the turtles cover the eggs with. We were elated to see these tracks. The tide was going out, so we were able to determine that the turtles came out around 10 or 11 that night.
We brought a flashlight on the beach, but the moon offered good light. The beaches are patrolled in the morning, and the nests are sectioned off with tape. It is against the law to touch the nests, and fortunately people respect this. Even though we never saw a turtle, we were just so thrilled to be witness to this act of nature. I highly recommend staying up late one night and going on the hunt.