of caution: Do Not Disturb nesting sea turtles before or during
the actual nesting period. It is against the law under the "Endangered
Species Act". This area is part of the Archie
Carr National Wildlife Refuge.
This big lady has just laid her eggs in the sand and on her way back to
the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Finding nesting sea turtles is not really that hard in this area, due to
the fact it produces 25% percent of all loggerhead sea turtle and 35% of
all green sea turtle nests in the United States. Walk along the beach and
look for "Tank Tracks" in the sand. (Those tracks are made by the female
pulling her heavy body along the sand using only her swim fins) Then
those tracks away from the water line and there's a good chance you'll
find a sea turtle nest.
When I found this little lady, she was still in her nest laying her eggs.
So, I backed off away from her, as to not to disturb her, and wait for
her to leave the nest and return to the ocean. About 20-30 minutes passed
before she finished and had refilled her nest with sand to cover her eggs.
With her mission completed she started her long slow trip back to the shoreline
where the waves of the Atlantic was waiting to carry her back to the deep
waters of the ocean. I too was waiting of course, to get a few pictures
of the new mother-to-be. She didn't seem to mind my presence too much as
she dragged her tired body back to the waves. But as soon as she hit the
waterline, she shot into the water like she was weightless and disappeared
within the foamy water in mere seconds.