Capturing the Diversity – Back to Turtles

Over seven years of travel to Ascension Island, you may notice that I barely mention the turtles, which was the original driving force through Brendan’s work for my connection with the islands.  Somehow, all the trips I ever did were scheduled in the second half of the year when there was not much turtle activity.  So all I tended to see was the evidence literally in the sand.  Every beach was pockmarked with old green turtle nests, unless it was washed daily by the sea, it seemed the turtles had laid their eggs in every possible location.  I did see the odd dried out crusty eggshell but very little of the wastage of turtle breeding was not scavenged by the birds and crabs.  Once my trip came not that far before Christmas and I spied a few large turtles out in the open water.  Apparently these were the males waiting for the females to arrive so they could copulate with them.  I sat on the beach in the twilight one evening and watched a male clumsily climb aboard a female; my voyeurism mostly shrouded by the breaking waves around them.  I had left the island before any females started to come up to lay their eggs, though.

So it was a bit hard to visualise what Long Beach in particular would look like with females laying. I got a bit envious of almost anyone else I talked to on the island who felt it was such a natural part of life.  Why did I keep missing this wonder?

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