More indelible memories

We had an amazing opportunity this past week: hands on participation in the release of endangered turtle hatchlings.

Before the release

Thanks to the effort of local volunteers and a small nonprofit, Olive Ridley turtles nesting on beaches in Banderas Bay have a stunningly better chance at survival. Nestled between mega resorts outside of Puerto Vallarta, a glorified shack surrounded by chain-link fence makes a positive dent in the future of this species. Volunteers patrol the beaches at night for signes of turtles nesting. They bring the eggs back inside the fencing for safe incubation, away from predators or the innocent but harmful curiosity of people. This time of year, the nests hatch at a rate of approximately one per day. As the turtles emerge, they are placed in a large kiddie pool for safe-keeping until the sun sinks toward the horizon. Arriving about a half hour before sunset, we were treated to in

But really? This was the real treat. Watching with wonder as these tiny turtles made their way toward the crashing surf. Watching them tumble in an oncoming wave, flip back over, and immediately resume their progress toward the water. It’s hopeful, this steadfast determination to survive. Seeing joy and hope in the children’s faces as they disappeared into the bay and into their future.

Go, little guys, go!

It’s still only 1-2% of a given nest who are expected to reach maturity, but the numbers have improved dramatically in recent years. For us, it’s another opportunity gratefully lived to teach ourselves and our children how delicate this beautiful marble really is, and how tangibly we can each have a part in making it a better place.

baby turtle release

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4 Responses to More indelible memories

  1. Nita January 16, 2010 at 3:03 am #

    Very amazing. Ty and I drove way south to Mismaloya Point. (way south of Mismaloya area) to a beach with hundreds of turtle nests surrounded by a fence. It was managed by the University of Guadalajara. Would love to be there right now when they are hatching. Hugz.

  2. Just a Minute January 18, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Ok Behan, I want the deets! I actually like having you go in front of us so you can check out all the cool things first and give us the skinny. Where, when? Easy to find? Must know, must do!

    Laura

  3. redhotpepper February 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Bergan would be in heaven. She’s a major turtle/tortoise enthusiast and has been ever since she saw Nemo when she was 2!

    We looked into doing the turtle release when we were in Cabo last spring break but it was off season.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures.

    Annie

  4. Meri February 10, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    Totem Crew… what an incredible experience! We are so missing the cruising life by being stuck in a marina making our transition from the 35′ Cal Cruising to the 41′ Tartan TOCK, but we live vicariously though your Blog… aching to be out there with you! Big hugs! Windfall Crew

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