Levera beach and two mother turtles.

8 Apr

 

 

 

On the full moon, a bus of us went 2 hours up to the north point of the island, to Levera Beach.  Under red lights we watched a leatherback turtle carefully dig out a hole with her hind flippers and in a trance, she laid 100 eggs, yolk and yolkless.  She covered them up with sand, and whipped sand back behind her with her front flippers.  Exhausting, she rested once in a while.  Sand whipped at our ankles as she adjusted position again and again.  Swinging her hind flippers side to side, then stamping down on the sand with them.  Again and again.

Further down the beach another turtle had finished her camouflage.  She flopped and slid slowly and awkwardly forward in the sand, making a large arc toward us, then past us toward the water.  She rested.  She continued, and the waves lapped up onto her.  They hit her face and flew up around her.  She continued to head home toward the water and the moonlight shining off the waves.  The waves flew at her again and again, and she must have known she was almost there.  Finally the beach bottom gave way and she was floating.  We saw the top of  her leathery shell bob at the surface, and another wave crashed over her.  She slid peacefully through the wave, smooth and graceful, then she was gone.

Maybe we’ll see her again in West Africa, maybe in Newfoundland.

 

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Whutchu sayin'

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