Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We Have Babies!

I felt bad for Mama getting stuck in the rain,
so I gave her a roof to her house.
Thanks Mom and Dad for the Pencil boxes.
Now our patrol data will stay nicer and dryer!

7PM, Kayla and I head out to start the nightly patrol. We make a quick pass to the north and don't see anything. So we head back to the house to catch a couple hours of sleep before our next patrol at 11. This time, Kayla, Victor and Ever (one of our Costa Rican Volunteers) go north, while Ingrid and I go south. After another 2 hours of patrolling, we still don't have a nesting turtle. So Ingrid and I head back to the house to check on the hatchery. Only to be in for a pleasant surprise. Our first nest had begun hatching. We counted 35/100 babies with still more looking like they were about to surface.

We take the babies in a bucket towards the north hoping to run into the other group so that everyone can partake in the momentous occasion. As we make our way up the beach, we are met by a nesting turtle. We wait with the turtle and collect her eggs as we see the others approaching us. After our turtle is finished, we all head further north to release the babies in the same sector their mom had put them in the first place. It was beautiful! I had really missed seeing those little guys make the determined walk towards the ocean. 20 minutes passes and the only sign the little one had been on the beach were their tiny little tracks in the sand heading towards the waves.
By this time we were all tired an ready to hit the hay, but before we could do that we had to put our nest into the hatchery. When we got there, we saw the next nest in line had also hatched (76 babies/ 84  eggs). So once again, we head back to the beach to release the latest nest.

We finally are able to return to the house at 3:00 AM. After a quick snack, I head to bed. Only to be awaken by my alarm at 4:30AM telling me it was time for another hatchery check. No more babies this morning.

Once everyone is awake, we headed out to the hatchery to exhume both nests and are happy to find another 30 babies in the first nest alive and ready to go. After everyone is confident in the exhumation process. I head down the street to invite the local families to help release the 30 babies at sunset when it is much cooler. I am excited to see what the turn out will be.

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