I knew it! I just knew it…that she would be there last night. And she was! The first time I got there It was still too early, the night was dark, and all the starts were hiding behind the clouds. So I left, played some music on the guitar and then went back to meet her. And there she was! A BEAUTY! It was late in the night, this time the moon was out and the sky was shining with stars, lighting her way along the beach.
She was digging a hole in the sand, after a second attempt. So I just sat down behind her and watched the lading edge of her hind flipper pressing to the ground, curling to scoop out the sand, then lifting and swinging laterally to deposit the sand in front of the back margin of her shell. As the sand was dropping and the flipper was setting down the other hind flipper was repeating the process.
Then she adopted the” laying position” with her head in sand and both rear flippers placed on either side of the hole, and started laying. She was now in a kind of “trance”, so I could touch her and feel how smooth her shell was. As the eggs were dropping, her hind flippers curled and the head and neck were retracted. I tagged her, took her measurements and then just waited for her…delighted by her presence.
After her last egg was laid, she immediately started to fill the egg chamber with sand, again working alternatively with her hind flippers. Once the nest was covered, she started to camouflage the nest by throwing sand backwards over the nest site with her front flippers. As she moved forward, the sand formed a beautiful heart shaped pit around her. The entire process took almost three hours and at this stage she was exhausted! So then, guided by the moonlight, she oriented herself back towards the big blue ocean.
I was completely overwhelmed, overjoyed…and I still am…with my first Green Turtle encounter. Possibly the rarest animal to see on Fregate Island.
Sea turtles, the peaceful creatures of the ocean, have a myriad of symbolic meanings in many cultures around the world. They are a symbol of motherhood, creation, endurance, strength, stability, self preservation, longevity, wisdom, fertility and innocence. They are the connection between the Sea and the Earth, as water brings life to the land and nourishes all life. Their shell arches like the sky, while their body is flat like the Earth, suggesting in some cultures that this creature was a resident of both the heavens and the Earth. They are also associated with the lunar cycle, leading to meanings of motion, intuition and emotion, the power of female energies.
Then I tell myself…life could not be more beautiful, nature could not be more perfect, we need to believe. A special moment, a magical surprise…this is what makes me alive!