The night before we had taken the midnight sea turtle walk and were thrilled to see the baby turtles scurrying to the ocean. The next night we were out walking on the beach for our enjoyment per Vacation Part 2.
Here’s where I’ll pick up the story.
We were heading back to our house and Ashby knows the sequence of different turtle nests and knew that a couple were very near hatching. As we had walked up the beach, he had looked in at one nest and saw a depression. When we passed the nest on the return trip, he saw the little heads sticking up. It was about 9 pm. He made appropriate calls to turtle officials about the impending boil—the hatch of the nest. We were OK’ed to stay and wait.
Per the prior night’s information, baby sea turtles use the sand as an elevator. The babies on top pushing the sand down and the ones below continuing to push it down until all are ready to burst out of the nest.
We all were excited as expectant parents!
The turtles instinctively waited until it was darker. At 9:20, we saw a mass of dark oval shapes come out of the nest and race as fast as their flippers could push them to the ocean. We had to use only our eyes which, by now, were adapted to the darkness. Lights of any kind distract the babies from the light color of the ocean surf. (We had no red light flashlights like the other night.)
It is hard to describe the incredible feeling of awe to see these creatures repeat the ageless drama for the first time and only time in their short life. Nature is incredible in maintaining the life cycle.