Thursday, March 12, 2009

Turtles in Barra La Cruz

We walked out of the marina to get to Barra La Cruz lugging three back packs filled with clothes, food, swim suits, a hammock. and two surf boards. We found a taxi close to Marina Chahue. It drove, and drove, and drove. First to the palapa that a friend Enrique let us borrow. Then we went to the turtle camp but the biologists weren’t there. After that we went to the beach to swim. When we were about to swim in the ocean we saw there were HUGE breaking waves. But luckily there was a lagoon.

Ruth said to swim out to the stick with the bird on top. About three quarters of the way there Mommy said fearfully “There might be crocodiles in here. Get out.”

I said “Mommy, there are no crocodiles in here.”

But all the same Mommy made me get out.

We walked down the beach to the turtle camp. A patrol was out and picked us up in their military jeep and took us to the turtle camp. The biologists were there. We signed in and that sort of thing: Some people eat turtle eggs and they want to prevent it so that's why the military was there.

We didn't know that we were supposed to bring warm clothes, so we had to borrow them from the biologists. We had to put on really big adult clothes and they looked so funny on us everyone around us laughed. Then we had to get in some hammocks to sleep until 10:00 pm, the time we would start looking for turtles. Here's where we slept:

But Ariane the biologist wanted us to help her. We got out of the hammocks in the turtle camp inside Barra La Cruz to free four leatherbacks and lots of black turtles. We also checked the temperature of the sand where the eggs were. Here's Ariane and me looking at the nest:

Then we went to the beach and dumped out a bucket to let the turtles out. The leatherbacks and black turtles scrambled into the sea.

After that we went back to the hammocks. In a few hours we woke up. We went on an ATV and drove to this pit to let more baby turtles free. There was one leatherback and a lot of Olive Ridleys. Then we walked back to the ATV and drove to look for grown turtles nesting. Here is the ATV we patrolled with:

This is me holding a baby leatherback:

These are baby Olive Ridleys departing to the sea:

We zoomed around in the ATV looking for turtles. Taking naps along the way. After the third nap we found an Olive Ridley trying to nest! We watched it for about 20 minutes. But it couldn’t make a nest because the sand was too dry. So it went back to the sea.

Than we zoomed a little more. But we didn’t find any more turtles so at 4:00 in the morning we went back to the turtle camp. We went back to sleep.

We all got up at about 8:00, had breakfast and freed some more baby turtles. Here's Maya carrying a crate full of baby turtles.

We said good bye to everyone.


Connor McElwee said...

Hi Kai!

Cool turtles! How long are they?

Have you seen any bowhead whales?

What are you doing right now?

Your friend,


kairayle said...

Hi Connor,
Green turtles can grow up to 2 to 3 feet but as babies they fit in my hand.
Olive Ridley turtles are 1 to 2 feet.
Hawksbill turtles are 2to3 feet long.
Leatherbacks are the biggest sea turtles in the world!! and when they are full grown they can range 7to 8 feet long.
We have not seen any bowhead whales.
Right now we are in Oaxaca and there are lots of chocolate factories!

Seven C's said...

Absolutely too cool! We would love to be able to do that. I know that our kids would love to see the turtles and to be able to help release them would be almost beyond their dreams!
Great Job!

javieth said...

I love this blog, is really amazing. The turtles are my favorite animal because they are quiet and they never represent a danger for anybody. This is the main reason why i love it. And how big they can be. Simply wonderful.
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