Gordon’s Surprise for Alabama Point
June 17: from Jan (Laguna Key Team Leader)
Got a text a 4:00 am “nest at […clip…]“. Rolled over and went back to sleep. Checked in with patrol, Richard was just walking up to the area. His comment, “This is a big pit, it’s going to be a BIG dig.”
All Call sent. Upon arriving we found a turtle still on the beach, just east of the body pit (sand art). Did a quick measurement (45″) to the enjoyment of the gathering crowd of tourists. This section of beach is a pleasure this year compared to past. This a very heavy traffic area with the congestion of condos on the lagoon side along with the beach house on the gulf side. The beach is so much cleaner as the result of LOF [Leave Only Footprints]. However, there are pits, deep holes everywhere,and trenches dug so the tide pools drain, ugh. Luckily, this momma only had a small hole which she went right through the middle of coming in, and a small mound she went through going out.
Did not get any information from the tag team on this turtle. Mike is checking with them. The crawl width is 40″. I’m thinking it could very well be our Martha. She left a false crawl a bit further west last Saturday. Her body pit area was so big we measured it (11′ x10′). From the picture,can you guess where the eggs were laid?
During digging Richard entertained us with how many cubic feet of sand we might have to move. Again, we were lucky and did not have to dig half way to China when Ken found the eggs. So nice we had 5-7 digging and moving sand. Relocated 94 eggs.
GREAT team work once again. Everyone pitched in. Some were educating the crowd, a new egg chamber was being dug, the relocation measurement were being taken, UTM recorded. A nice family from northern Illinois (dad is jr high science teacher) took the team picture and asked if their 3 teenage daughters could have their picture taken with the team for the vacation album. Happy to oblige. They are even considering adopting this nest. Always, a heart warming feeling leaving knowing this experience will be the highlight of their vacation.
Feeling….tired, but so appreciative of you ALL. Stay cool and rest.