Monday, December 3, 2012

Turtles of Ningaloo

It's not everyday you get to crawl around on a beach in the dark commando style getting sand absolutely everywhere. But turtles are awesome and this area is well known for them. It does help that it's currently turtle mating and egg laying season here too. 

Last night we went to one of the nesting beaches beside the Jurabi Turtle Center and following the "turtle code of conduct" watched two turtles making nests and laying eggs. I don't have any photos of it though (no lights allowed).

Basically we hung out after sunset and waited. Once it was good and dark out (and we had almost given up) we saw a very large black shape making it's way up the beach. 

We sat and watched as she found a good spot and processes to dig a pit at least a couple of sq meters in size. 

While we were sitting there watching the first turtle, we noticed that one of rocks where the waves were crashing was getting closer. What's the chance that a turtle will land directly below you on the beach? Apparently pretty high. 

So while turtle number 2 starts her way up the beach, SP and I are scrambling to get out of the way without being noticed (you don't want to scare them). 

We hung out for a couple of hours, watching the turtles nest, the stars come out and the moon rise. 

The next day we went back to look at the nests and see how many had laid that night. Just the one short section of beach had 5 busy ladies on it. 

Big turtles. Either green, loggerhead or hawksbill - not sure.

The nest of Turtle #1

Lucky for us, the turtles don't end there. While snorkeling today we hung out with a green turtle for awhile. I'm not very good at holding the camera steady, but here is a video and a few photos. 

Shaky Turtle Video, by me. 

Between the octopi and the turtles I did manage to take a few photos of the reef, more of those tomorrow.


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