Friday, July 15, 2016

Leatherback Turtles - Brand Spanking New!

Yesterday was a sighting that might be a once in a lifetime event - we will count ourselves very lucky if we ever get to see brand new Leatherback turtles emerging from their nest and  taking their first steps to get to open water.

In case you don't follow us on Facebook (go and Like our page:  The Sailing Tales of Mowzer).  I posted video there as well that shows these little guys on their final steps getting to open water.

An amazing experience on Salines Beach today (Martinique). We were heading home after a fun and lazy afternoon on the beach when we came across some little turtles making their way to the sea. More appeared, and so too did a few other beach-goers, but everyone remained calm and just monitored to make sure they all made their way into the ocean successfully. These little tiny new hatchlings have so many challenges ahead of them, and I know only a tiny fraction will survive, but it was so special to see that they made this first step successfully.

Are we there yet?  The coastal path leads to a series of stunning beaches at the southern tip of Martinique.

Our destination for the day - Salines Beach.

We had a group of great teenagers playing soccer games in front of us.  Fete National in Martinique meant the beach was full of family groups.

I loved the play of the sunlight through the sheltering leaves of the tree above us.  No rain today so it was safe under the Manchineel trees.

Relaxing back in the shade of those trees - almost time for a dip in the surf.
After a lovely relaxing afternoon on the beach we headed back along the beach to pick up the path to Ste. Anne.  Just before the end of the beach we came across a small group of people intently watching these little guys on the ground.  Leatherback turtles were emerging from a nest at the top of the beach and had a long trek down to the surf.  Everyone stood calmly around and watched their progress - this mean no seabirds came in to pick them off and all that hatched made it safely to the ocean.  Just a tiny step in their dangerous journey to adulthood and only a small number will make it, but it was amazing to be there for this first journey.

The first couple out of the nest - don't they make the most beautiful tracks in the sand?

Many more followed down the slope.

A little hatchling emerging from the sand.  We figure we saw at least 50 come out of this hole.

It's a long way!

It was such hard work - exhausting just watching them.

Into the first bit of water - almost there.

The lapping edge of the waves would tumble the babies around.

Finally - enough depth to the water and their little flippers would propel them so quickly into the deep water.
Don't forget to check out the video I posted on Facebook at The Sailing Tales of Mowzer (it's too big to post here.)

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