August 2007, Bonaire – We had just arrived on the island when the call came from our dear friend TC Panecaldo. She knew we had just checked into Buddy Dive, our home for the next five weeks, but would we like to see hatching turtles? A friend from Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire was monitoring a nest and was willing to let us ride over to Klein Bonaire but we would have to leave right away to make it in time. We scrambled to assemble our cameras and headed for the marina.
Bonaire has a good population of turtles; we’ve mostly seen Hawksbill and Green turtles during our dives, but had never seen any of them hatch, so this was a real thrill. I was not prepared for how fast the little Loggerhead hatchlings broke through the sand and dispersed – it took less than 15 minutes for all the turtles to make the trip from nest to ocean. When it was all over and the last little turtle gone, TC and Funchi counted the empty shells – 143!
You can watch the short video here, or click on the photo below to watch it in HD.