Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Turtles at Playa Madera


The phone rang last night as we were watching the Olympics. Ibis talked to someone for a minute, hung up, then jumped to his feet.

"The turtles are at the beach!" He ran to the bedroom to get dressed, me close on his heels.

"I'm coming, too!"

Ten minutes later we pulled up to the hotel where he works, sprinted down the 60+ stairs, and ran onto the beach. His co-worker, the one who called, was standing fifty feet from the hotel so we headed towards him. I knew turtles lay eggs in this area and thought the eggs were hatching, so as I ran beneath the palapas (thatch umbrellas), I kept my eyes open for teeny baby turtles. Instead I nearly ran straight into this:



This isn't the first one I saw - that one swam away before we could get a picture. This one was busy digging holes for her eggs. She crawled around the chairs and umbrellas, occasionally getting stuck beneath a beach chair, looking for the perfect spot. She dug two holes that we counted but apparently wasn't happy with them and didn't lay any. We watched her for almost an hour before she headed for the ocean.

There were two other men with us, the night receptionist and a worker from another hotel. In case anyone thinks we got too close or were harming the turtle in any way, we weren't. One of the men was manhandling the poor thing, turning it around so he could get a good picture. We had to practically chase him away to get any pictures without him crowding her. We probably should have said something to him, but this was one of those situations where us speaking up wouldn't change anything. The turtles come to the beach fairly often, and he'll just do what he wants the next time.

That being said, here are more pictures. The lights are downtown Zihua.





Safe at last.

21 comments:

lostgirl said...

Wow, that is so cool. I'd much rather hang out with the turtles than some of the other animals/creatures you talk about being around.. :D

Awesome.

spyscribbler said...

Wow, that is the coolest! That is SO cool. Will he call you again when the teen baby turtles come out? I hope you can get some pictures of that, too!

Melanie Avila said...

LG - I like these creatures better, too. :)

Spy - I don't think they laid any eggs. The ground needs to be "just so" and we think it was too hard. There were a couple holes and a few patted down areas, but nothing. It was very cool watching them dig though.

Turkey Lurkey said...

Awww! Turtles! They are so cute!

Jen said...

Wow! Neat! My son saw the pics and proceeded to give me an impromptu lecture about sea turtles.

He says the pics are "really cool!", btw. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey - aren't they?

Jen - we watch a lot of nature programs and they finally came in handy! I'm glad your son like them. :)

Janna Qualman said...

It's amazing! I've seen this on Discovery and PBS, but would love to see it in person. How awesome.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna - when we realized the turtle wasn't happy with her hole and was looking for a new spot to dig, Ibis commented that we could be there for awhile.

I looked at him and said, "Have you seen this before? I don't mind waiting!" We weren't even there a full hour, so it wasn't very long, considering.

Packsaddle said...

Well, duh!

Could youlay a freaking egg with someone else watching you?

Sheesh.

Give them a little privacy next time.

Humans.....

Melanie Avila said...

PS - LOL! I totally thought the same thing. We did stay pretty far away. We hid behind trees and the chairs for most of the time. It wasn't until she headed towards the ocean that we approached her.

Zoe Winters said...

awwww turtles! That's awesome!

WendyCinNYC said...

That's very cool. I saw some babies hatch out once in Antigua and it was amazing.

Great pics!

Amy Mullis said...

Abso-freakin-lutely cool. Also cool is finishing your WIP. Congrats!

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy - I'd love to see the babies. There are groups here working to protect them, so I know it happens in this area.

Thanks Amy!

Robin said...

Wow!!! Awesome!!! Great pictures! Wasn't anyone afraid she would develop a sudden burst of speed and run after you and bite your head off? Don't you guys see horror movies? Everyone in the audience is going, "Don't go near the turtles! They're killer mutant turtles!", but the heroine doesn't listen and gets her head snapped off? Is it just me?

Melanie Avila said...

*raises hand*

Yes, me! The lake I grew up on has snapping turtles and I kept telling Ibis not to piss her off or she'd bite off his finger. He didn't believe me!

Travis Erwin said...

Awesome. What an experience.

colbymarshall said...

So. much. fun. I wish I had been there!

Nadine said...

I am so jealous!! We have sea turtles here, but I've never seen any of them lay eggs, although I would love to. And I would LOVE to see them hatch!!

Melanie Avila said...

Travis, Colby & Nadine - this is something I've always wanted to see. I just wish she laid eggs!

aaroncrocco said...

Tortugas!!!!! Too cute.