Leatherback Turtle Experience
When night falls upon Turtle Beach it is transformed into a home for endangered leatherback turtles. A popular nesting site for these animals, they choose the hours of darkness to pull themselves from the sea and drag their massive bodies across the sand to settle in a spot of their choosing. We made our way to Turtle Beach around 10pm.
As we walked along the shore, flip flops in hand, we saw her. A leatherback turtle, larger that I ever could have imagined, had nestled herself into the sand and was in the process of laying her eggs in the hole she had just finished digging. Shortly after, we came across the second. At 162 cm in length, she is considered a small leatherback. We watched, mesmerized, as she moved her flippers to dig a deep hole in the sand. It was clear that this took a lot of effort on her part, confirmed by the prehistoric sounding groans she made as she continued to dig until the hole was deep enough to protect the eggs.
Watching the whole process of digging the hole, laying the eggs, burying them with sand and pushing her way through the sand to get back to the sea was an incredible experience. We all sat in silent awe, feeling extremely grateful to be a part of that moment of new life.
If you choose to visit a turtle nesting site for yourself, please be respectful of them. They are wild animals that need space and a sense of security and safety to feel comfortable nesting. Keep your distance, don’t stand near the head of the turtle, and don’t use any flash photography.