Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Exciting Encounter With Turtle Hatchlings

We’re 4 weeks in here at Jalova, and the time is flying. It’s funny, we see so many amazing things every day that some of the things that blew us away when we got here (seeing monkeys, having a Bare-Throated Tiger Heron living on base) are just commonplace now. However, one things that never fails to deliver is seeing hatchlings making their dash from their nests to the ocean.

On Jag Walk a week ago (see previous blog entry for info on what a “Jag Walk” is), we were lucky enough to see 2 nests hatch. The first nest we came to had already hatched and the majority of the hatchlings had made it to see. But Tom, another volunteer, spotted 3 hatchlings that had gotten stuck getting out of the nest and were too tired to move. We got to carry them down to the high-tide line, which is something we only do on rare occasions when it’s clear that the hatchlings won’t make it on their own. Once they got that close to the ocean, they could sense the water and got a second wind, and made it the rest of the way.

A few miles later we stumbled upon a full group of hatchlings making their bid for freedom. It’s been written before how magical it is to see a turtle making her nest and laying eggs (and this is completely true). However, seeing 30+ hatchlings running for the ocean is just as, if not more, awesome.

Finally, there is a momentous event about to take place on base here at Jalova. Tuesday, November 1st, marks the official beginning of MO-vember. All male staff and volunteers will be forgoing all facial hair except for mustaches, and I can say we are all very excited to see just how bad we’re all going to look. We’ll be sure to post mustache-related updates as the month progresses.

-Zach Halter, Volunteer