Friday, May 4, 2012

A Turtle at our Doorstep

In the early morning on 27 April, Joris (a volunteer from Holland) spoke through our open room window and asked if we wanted to see a turtle. Well, it was about 2am so at first I had no idea what was happening. After I got my bearings and stopped dreaming about the new Neil Young and Crazy Horse album (just guessing on that one), I realized hell yeah I wanna see a turtle. I tried to get Alli up, but the lady was too sleepy this time around.

Back to the sea, trudging along!
The lucky part: this very wide Green turtle mama decided to nest right at the beach in front of the JTP. Boom-shack-alacka! Like NBA Jam used to say. By the time she had been spotted she already had her eggs covered up and was going nutty with her front flippers. Sand was moving. She was only a couple meters from our hatchery so there was no point in digging up the nest and moving it there. We left it in-situ. We missed our window to tag her front flippers so hopefully on the return visit we can get that done.

Dani and I measuring the outside width of her tracks after she left the beach. I a like this photo!
She should return in the next 4-5 days. It'll be her second time coming back to Mentawak Beach so we don't know for sure what her re-nesting interval is gonna be yet . The portly turtle gave us our 8th nest of the year. The ocho.

The in-situ nest right in front of the JTP.
On her saunter back to the ocean is when we measured her shell, took some photos and then bid her adieu. She took 15 minutes to get back to the water - entering just a smidge before 3am. She probably first came ashore right around midnight. Her tracks were measured and shortly later I was back in bed. Whether Neil Young crept back into my dreamscape I can't recall. He definitely wasn't in Alli's. She hates that dude (an unfortunate trait I think she inherited from her Mom).

Her nest in relation to where our hatchery is.
And her tracks the next day before her mesh enclosure went up.

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