A weekend walk with the Fripp Island Turtle Patrol
It’s not every day you get to enjoy this. Every morning from May through October members of the Fripp Island Turtle Partol willingly get up at the crack of dawn and give up their mornings to make a difference in our world. We were very happy to have the pleasure of joining program leader Janie Lackman and the patrol on a recent morning.
We were blessed to have had some amazing hatchling activity to enjoy.
After coming out of the sand and amusing everyone with their absolute cuteness and adorability, the hatchlings make for the water in a clumsy yet purposeful mad dash. Once in the water, these tiny hatchlings have a 50-60 mile swim before they reach the Gulf Stream where they will eat their first meal. In order to build strength it is extremely important for the hatchlings to crawl when exiting the nest. Crawling allows them to build some strength and imprint on the sand so that in 25-30 years, when they too reach maturity, they will likely return to this location to lay their own eggs.
For a turtle to make it to maturity, it takes a great deal of strength, perseverance and luck. Every morning, volunteers walk our beaches working to increase their chance at survival by checking nests and keeping an eye out for turtle tracks, laid nests, turtles, and predators that they may come across.
With every turtle that comes ashore, nest that is laid and hatchling that breaks out of its soft shell, only one in 1000 sea turtles makes it to maturity.
It truly was a beauty to behold. Awesome, to say the least. This was an amazing experience we will never forget.
For the safety of the turtles and other wildlife, please be sure to take home any items brought to the beach, fill in any holes dug in the sand and turn off all lights after dark; as this will confuse the turtles and could cause their death.
A big thank you to Janie for inviting us to enjoy this truly fantastic morning.
Enjoy our photos of the morning walk.
For even more, visit our Photo Gallery.