Nest #33 from this morning. April found the nest. Turtle came up between a towel and buckets/toys on the beach. The sand was saturated from a storm surf but the turtle nested anyway and left having to turn West to avoid two beach chairs left in the surf.
Had to move the nest due to being quite a ways below the high tide line. Digging the nest was extremely exhausting as the sand was liquid to try to dig through and the eggs were trapped beneath ground and under water. The hole kept sloughing and widening like a huge bowl of malt-o-meal. There was no shape to the nest cavity at all.
The only way we could find eggs was to push our hand deep into the sand and come up through the bottom of the nest and watery sand and sift the eggs out of the sand on the way up. Recovered 107 very pink eggs and moved them up as far as the sea walls would allow. The eggs are 2 to 3 feet higher now than they were. We could have gone higher to move them alongside the public access, but the sand at that location is not beach sand, but a tan colored more coarse almost gravel material and we weren’t taking a chance on how that might affect egg development.
I want to say thanks to Buz, Susan, April and Debbie (I don’t have her email address) for helping with the dig tonight. The success rate was much lower than we had hoped. Though we had more than we wanted of dead embryos and infertile eggs, those that we found live were healthy and strong and made it to the water and are on their way to their big journey. Bud and Susan came down a little earlier and raked a clear track for the hatchlings. April and Debbie were there to help with the dig and release as well. Susan helped with the release and did the paperwork for us. We had about 6-7 spectators who were all very interested and so excited about the experience. The results of nest 33 are:
Alive and released: 13
Live pipped 1
No Obvious: 24
Dead embryos 14
Total eggs: 107