An Impromptu Day At the Beach!

Thursday , 4, October 2012 Leave a comment
A few months ago I discovered the Tybee Island Sea Turtle Project page on Facebook.  It’s a group of volunteers certified through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to work with Loggerhead Sea Turtles that nest on Tybee Island.  They begin in May combing the beaches every morning to look for turtle tracks.  They mark the nests and watch them until they get ready to hatch out about 60 days later.

The Facebook page works to keep the public updated on the work they are doing, nests discovered, babies hatched and other cool statistics.  The excavation of the nests are open to the public.  They dig up the nests approximately 5 days after the eggs hatch.  Pretty cool right?

Well as most of you know from Rachel’s recent post analyzing my pinterest boards, I am one busy lady!  But as a family we decided seeing one of the nests being excavated was going to be a priority this summer.  Somehow we would make it work in our busy schedule.  That has proven challenging since they are only able to give a few days notice.  Nevertheless, we were determined!

Last week they finally had an excavation scheduled on a Saturday where we had nothing planned other than enjoying some Auburn football!  Friday night we decided we would load up early Saturday morning and head down to Tybee for the day.  Crazy right?  We had plans on Sunday we couldn’t miss so it was that or nothing.  I have to mention that there were only 3 nests left of the season to be excavated.  It was now or never.

Saturday morning we headed to the coast.  It’s not a bad drive and Riley, my 5 year old turtle lover, was over the moon excited to go!  Especially when we told her about half of the time when they excavate the nests, they find a baby sea turtle!  My husband and I were just as excited at this possibility as she was!  This excitement made her a joy on the car ride down.  Well that, and her iPod, but whatever works right?

The excavations happen at dusk, this one was set for 7:30pm on the North Beach of Tybee Island.  We had the whole day to relax on the island.  It started with lunch at StingRays where we enjoyed some live local music on the deck.  Riley danced the entire time while we sampled some amazing seafood.

Riley and Daddy at StingRays

Then we headed over to the Lighthouse.  We braved all 152 steps to the top to see an awesome view! Riley did great but Daddy had to carry her down.  It really is a lot of steps for tiny little legs.  But those legs worked just fine once we headed to the sand!  She only stopped long enough for me to snap this picture. That kid is constant motion!

It's a bit windy!

As sunset approached, people started to gather around the nest.  All the kids gathered down front so they could see.  The volunteers started digging down to the egss.  When they pulled out the first egg Riley asked if they would pass it around so everyone could hold it.  I love that she sees the world as her classroom!  Sadly the volunteers explained to her that only certified volunteers could touch them.

The excavated sea turtle nest. The eggs are in the bottom left.

They found 88 eggs total with only 2 unhatched.  They didn’t find any live babies in the nest.  We were sad we didn’t get to see one but happy that they all made it safely to the ocean!  We decided right then to make the trip each season to witness an excavation.  We can’t wait for next season for another chance to see if there will be a baby waiting in the nest.

Tybee Lighthouse at Sunset

As we walked back up the board walk, we witnessed this amazing sunset.  A perfect ending to a great day!

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