24 August 2008

Hatchlings Swim in the Lake of Mexico

VIP Valerie was out on her turtle run at dawn Saturday morning, while I was still letting hatchlings go from SR6221. I shocked her a bit -- she wasn't sure who would walk in the 25 mph winds before sunrise, so she drove around til she saw my government truck...

I didn't think the hatchlings and I looked that dangerous!

Though, the beach with these big footprints was pretty hazardous for the tiny turtles. They struggled to crawl out!

I usually do a much better job smoothing things out, but that north wind and the free microdermabrasion treatment were making it hard to be on the beach at all...

I just wanted the hatchlings to be free in the gulf before the winds clocked around from the south and kicked up the surf.

The turtles seemed to agree.

Valerie and I had to laugh at how determined they were...

Even when meeting comb jellies that were bigger than they are.

In time, these jellies and sea nettles (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) will be among their favorite foods!

Every single one of them toddled on down the berm, hit the water without pausing and took off into the still blue-green Gulf of Mexico. It's hard to tell in the image above, but the hatchling is just about to get wet!

There were no waves to toss them back, or direct them...

But they all seemed just fine!

What a great way to start the day! I'm so glad that flat Gulf was just about it for Fay here...


kjpweb said...

Just can't believe how tiny they are!
Hope Fay was merciful!
Cheers, Klaus

Dave said...

Thankfully, Fay was indeed merciful. Hardy a drop of rain out by us on Pensacola Beach.

Turtle Girl said...

Fay was merciful, but her south winds and the tides are really starting to kick things up today. Several of our nests were flooded last night, but won't be tonight as we moved them to higher ground... It's a risky move, but so is leaving them under the pounding surf!

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