Saturday, December 11, 2010

THE most AMAZING turtle experience

Our (2) previous visits to Mon Repos were later in the season (January) and on both occasions we saw baby turtles hatch.
The kids had a great time standing in a line, legs apart, shining torches at the ground, whilst watching the hatchlings head down to the ocean guided by their light.
Great experience.
A bit harrowing at times as Charlie nearly stood on a few.

So this visit was earlier in the season so we felt confident about seeing a mother lay her clutch.
I booked us into the turtle centre for a night time turtle experience with the rangers.
We didn't need to go because we had the better experience of seeing a turtle lay in broad daylight.

Our turtle (tag number OA 9011) came up about 4-4:30 pm whilst some of our kids were swimming further down the beach.
 We arrived just as she was digging her hole.
OA 9011 picked a great spot for us all to see her laying.
So here is our turtle laying.

The lady in the white shirt is collecting 'mucous' for a research study. Lucky gal.

The kids then lined up and helped relocate the 144 eggs to a safer nest further up the dune.
The kids felt very important and fortunately none were dropped.

OA 9011 was taken back up to the research centre to see if she was suitable for a tracking device and other 'researchy' stuff.
The tracking devices are rare and expensive so an ultrasound was performed to see if she was going to lay another clutch this season. They then take the device off when she returns.

The chap in the pale blue shirt is the 'turtle guru' who established the turtle program over 30 years ago. The following day he allowed some of the kids into the research centre to look at our turtle having her device fitted. 
He graciously answered a few questions from the kids. 
What an experience!

 The next day we all saw our turtle released. 
Tracking device and depth measurer 'thingy' insitu.
Thanks OA 9011 for our great mother turtle experience.

I still can't believe our good timing and luck.
Very lucky children.


  1. Everyone should learn from a turtle ... so gracious and peaceful and quiet and trusting.

    Lovely creatures. Wonderful experience!

  2. What an incredible opportunity your family had to experience first hand. Certainly once in a life time.


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