Our good friends, marine biologist Kathy Hall and Mike Shand found the nest on Shacks Beach during the high waves following Hurricane Sandy. The nest was being destroyed by the waves. By the time Kathy and Mike got to it, some eggs had already washed into the sea.
They carefully - very carefully, because the eggs have to stay in the same position - gathered the remaining eggs and move them to a new nest in a safer more sheltered location. Yesterday morning Kathy found one living hatchling, the first indication the move was successful.
The hatchlings start their trek to the sea just about dark. There are fewer predators out, improving the young turtles' chances of reaching the sea.
We all gathered at dusk, a little before dark so we would have a chance to watch. Kathy carefully dug into the nest and pulled out one, then another and another and another live viable hatchlings. The first ones started toward the water. Kathy scraped the sand off the nest and revealed a writhing mass of turtles all climbing over each other to get out and start their own trip to the sea.
Watch the video I shot and posted. (The ambient sound was bad so I eliminated it.)
All I can say is incredible!!! Watching these little guys head straight for the ocean was just mind-blowing. We were cheering them on, urging them, willing them to make it. We watched the last of them reach the waves under an amazing full moon.
Kathy and Mike rescued 82 eggs from the original nest. Of those 78 turtles survived and made it to the sea.
Thank you, Kathy and Mike! What an amazing incredible unbelievable evening! Thank you for allowing us to share it.