All summer long the mother sea turtles walk out of the sea struggling with their big heavy bodies on land crawling to the dunes to dig a hole and bury their eggs. In August and September the eggs hatch and the babies crawl out of the hole in the night . The moon is over the sea this time of the year and they follow the moonlight to the ocean. Because they are so tiny and everything wants to eat them, only one in a thousand survive to adulthood. Once in the ocean they try to make it to the floating sea weed grass by the gulf stream to hide. Sea turtles need to surface about every two hours to breathe air. There are about 5 basic species of sea turtles.
The ones in the photos are leatherbacks which are blackish in color and live far off shore and are the largest. Leatherbacks can grow to be up to eight feet long !!!!
Three days after the eggs have hatched and the babies walked to sea we check the nest with the turtle patrol.. We carefully hand dig out the nest and check for any more babies who couldn't find thier way out to the top. We found two left this time.
All the sea turtles are now endangered because people have eaten so many. The most abundant varieties left are the green turtles which are named green because they become vegetarians at adulthood. I presently volunteer at the Marine Science Center working to save rescued sea turtles that have been injured by motor boats, fishing gear, etc. Not all of them recover, but lots of them get well and it is so exciting to see them get released back home to the sea!!!!! I must say......they are such beautiful and amazing creatures!