Guided Turtle Watches

Although reservations are required and the guided sea turtle walks are very popular, my friend's friend was able to get us tickets to participate this evening.  It was a special favor, so don't attempt to go without a reservation, it won't happen...It is unlawful to harass or disturb the sea turtles as they are preparing their nests or laying their eggs.  There are specific rules regarding lighting and walking on the beach at night which are designed to protect these threatened and endangered species and their eggs.  For the safety of the sea turtles it is recommended that viewers join guided watches.

We've lived in Florida most of our lives and had never been on a Sea Turtle walk.  The Sea Turtle Preservation Society prepares you well for the exciting experience.  We watched a video and a guide explained everything we would encounter and also provided instruction on how to behave during the walk. Flash photography is not permitted so the pictures are a bit dark, but thankfully you can still make out what is happening.

There are permitted STPS guides throughout the beach searching for incoming sea turtles preparing to nest.  Once spotted and once she starts nesting and its safe to approach her, the group quietly comes closer and closer to the nesting mother. Once she has starting laying eggs it is okay to get close and watch this miracle.

Light pointed to Loggerhead Mama laying eggs.

The nest with the eggs inside.

The nest with the eggs.

We had more than enough opportunity to see the entire process.  While we were there we also spotted about five other turtles heading up to lay eggs.  Apparently some got spooked because three of them turned around and left. 

We were also lucky because during our experience, the Loggerhead turtle we were watching had a tracking device on her.  The scientist who'd been tracking her, showed up looking for her.  It was the third time she'd come ashore since May to lay eggs on that beach.  The scientist drew blood and performed other exams, which was an added bonus.  The guides that were with us had never experienced that at all.

The scientist holding the turtles head.

The scientist examining the turtle.

We all loved the experience and recommend it highly to everyone...we even had seven year-olds in our group and they were patient, cooperative and awe-struck throughout the entire process.  It is so amazing that  everyone remains actively involved the entire time.

Go ahead and experience this wonderful miracle of life...

Sea Turtle Preservation Society
PO BOX 510988
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951
or check out the link to their website above.


No comments:

Post a Comment