Thursday, July 22, 2010

They're Here!

After waiting ALL night Tuesday night, the cute little critters decided Wednesday would be the perfect night to make their appearance.
 They didn't waste any time. When I got to the nest at 8pm it hadn't changed at all since Tuesday. I even doubted if it was going to happen. We couldn't hear a thing on the microphone because of the wind and Linda was checking the nest every 30 minutes or so.
The crowd of people passing by started to grow and all of a sudden I hear Linda quietly call my name. I
 look over and there is a tiny depression. I had just set all of my camera equipment up and put all of the sand and moisture barriers on it (bags and sacks and rain gear). So I start taking all the bags off and I look over and the hole is already bigger.
A hand full of them emerged before I could even call Michael and get the rest of the gear set up. ...and the crowd was growing. I filmed the first little guy that emerged walk all the way to the ocean.
Just as I was finally getting the rest of the gear ready to go the big show started! They call it a boil for a reason! All the tiny sea turtles started crawling over each other and just pouring out of the nest! It was amazing. then as they followed the moon to the water they would spread out. It was a challenge to manage a crowd of people and tons of baby turtles walking in the dark to the water, but every single one of them made it. It was an experience of a lifetime! Thanks to everyone that helped me along the way. More pictures and video on the way! Be sure to watch WMBF News at 6 on Sunday for the full story. CONGRATULATIONS NORTH MYRTLE BEACH SEA TURTLE PATROL! 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Final Count Down!

Stay tuned for pics of the hatch! It could happen any night now...Kudos to the S.C.U.T.E volunteers that have been camping out at the nests all night for the past week or so. If you happen to stumble up on us at the nest, please remember a few things:
*No flashlights or flash photography. Turtles are drawn to the light and can become disoriented. Even light colored clothing can get them off course. Just think, in a totally natural habitat, the ocean would reflect the moon and be the brightest source around.
*Please stay back if a volunteer asks you to. Even if the turtles haven't hatched yet. We have a microphone buried underground and it is very sensitive. We can hear when people walk and talk near the nest.

Here are a few things we are watching for and more information about this cool microphone.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Going Green!

While being green (the eco-friendly kind) is cool, seeing green is even better! Surfside Police were seeing green...a green sea turtle crawl...Saturday morning.

Surfside police called Ann Wilson, Interpretive Director and local sea turtle expert with MB State Park, and told her they found a turtle crawl. Ann and her coworker Katie went to check it out. They could tell right away that this wasn't the usual loggerhead crawl. They started probing and quickly found 143 eggs about 14 inches deep. The nest was relocated to the State Park for safe keeping and monitoring. If they are right about it being a green sea turtle we will get the have a Green Sea Turtle inventory in September! VERY COOL!

Nat Geo Pic of The Day

Green sea turtle tracks can be distinguished from those of loggerheads by the simultaneous flipper marks and a tail mark down the center of the track.

Green sea turtles usually nest in the Florida Keys, Costa Rica, and other tropical and subtropical spots in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. But occasionally these herbivores will nest on our beaches. They are about 3 feet and weigh in at 300 pounds.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

North Myrtle Beach S.C.U.T.E  reported thier 8th sea turtle nest of the season yesterday morning! Way to go NMB!!

On a sad note...

A 300lbs loggerhead sea turtle died during transport. He was found at Huntington Beach State Park. There was no sign of injury and illness. SCDNR will do a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle spotted off of our beaches! If a kemp were to nest on our beaches, it would be during the day and only leave a light crawl.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Business Time!

This is going to be a busy month! The first of the four North Myrtle Beach nests should hatch around July 16th and then we will continue to have emergences almost every week. I'm going to try to capture the emergence (hatch) on film using a night vision camera. Here are some fun pictures of the journy so far.

I'm probing for eggs. It ended up being a false crawl but that was an exciting morning. We had already had one successful nest.

Nothing beats getting to see a crawl. The sun is coming up, the breeze feels great, and the beach is beautiful!


Myrtle, a precious Kemp that has been at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston for the past 2 years or so died Tuesday, June 22nd. She was found in Myrtle Beach after suffering a severe boat strike.
Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are the most endangered of all the sea is a rare treat to have a female nest on our coastline.

Timid Turtles

We have had zero turtle activity this past week, but really that is no surprise. Last year we didn't see any activity the week of the 4th of July either. The main reason is because of fireworks. The bright lights, loud noises and crowds on the beach can make a sea turtle think twice about nesting.
I know that fireworks are just a part of the 4th of July, and I admit I love them too. But the important thing is to pick up all of the litter left behind. Also, try to avoid bottle rockets because you can't retrieve the stick after it is fired.
The next few nights I know people will probably be on the beaches a little later than usual. If you are lucky enough to spot a nesting turtle, remember that bothering her or her nest could result in a heafty fine. Don't use flash photography or try to go up and touch her.
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!