Blog Post By: Karoline, Sea Turtle Intern
While on my way to set up for the night walk on Saturday, I received a call from Leah saying that if we hurried, we could potentially catch a boil on the beach! A boil is when the hatchlings emerge from the nest, something that I had never seen until last night. Haley (an Environmental Learning Center intern and sea turtle volunteer) and I put the pedal to the medal, parked the car, and sprinted to the beach. We were expecting to immediately have the hatchlings emerge, but as we know, turtles work on turtle time, so of course that didn’t happen. We arrived at the scene breathless, only to have to sit and wait for 45 minutes. The good thing about the wait, however, was it gave our night walk participants time to arrive and see the hatchlings! Once the little hatchling at the top who I nicknamed the “scout” hatchling seemed to give the “all clear” to the rest of the nest, they all came up and easily made their way to the water. Our night walk participants did a great job and let the hatchlings do their thing!
All summer I have been waiting and hoping to see a boil. I’ve even come and looked for hatchlings on my night off! Knowing how our turtles are, I’m sure they thought it would be funny to take their time and hatch right at the start of a night walk After an exciting start to the walk, we came back to the Wi-Fi room for the presentation. We finished up with some great questions from the group, and then headed out to the beach. This was my first night going out ahead of the group looking for turtles and hatchlings, and I was very excited. I checked all the nests on my way up the beach, while still looking for adult turtle tracks. Finally, when I got to mile marker 0.8 there was an awesome person walking the beach who showed me that there was a turtle in the dunes! I slowly crept up and found that she was laying! The group approached, and we saw a beautiful big turtle lay nest number 185. After she finished, she made her way down to the water and we said our goodbyes. Then, on the way back to the white office building, I saw another track, and lo and behold there was another turtle laying right by the white building! This nest was number 183. I kept an eye on her as the night walk group left, as it was already becoming a late night. It was an awesome “circle of life” night walk with some fantastic night walk survivors!
Sea Turtle Biologist