Bring on the fishies! After breakfast, we hopped on a boat and headed out to swim in the open waters.
Upon returning to the island, though, we found out that the best action is actually found right on the beach’s shores!
Once the tide went out at around 2, it was time to get out. There was a reef walk led by Melissa, the same guide from the previous night.
After the reef walk, it was time for another hatchling walk. This time, I wanted to nab some photos of the cute little buggers. They were so fast I could hardly get them in focus with my telephoto lens.
During the hatchling walk, Trevor and I befriended a couple of fellow Torontonians by the name of Judy and Henry. Judy is a retired teacher and Henry is a real estate wiz. We ended up having a few drinks and dinner together.
Unfortunately, we left them in a bit of a rush, since we wanted to join the stargazing tour group. Alas, great food and great company kept us at the restaurant too long and we missed the group.
Also, I found out later that we ended up going to the wrong meeting place for the tour.
But that’s all irrelevant, because missing the tour was the best thing that could’ve happened to us that night.
We ended up walking along the beach on our own under a full moon. It was rather romantic. Trevor and I held hands and reminisced about our favourite memories from the trip as our laughs rang out over the sound of the ocean waves. What a beautiful night it was.
All kidding aside, I was determind to find another sea turtle laying its eggs like the other night. This time, though, I was going to stay until she was finished.
We walked nice and slow, making sure to check for turtle tracks on the sand and flying mounds of sand over the dunes.
We saw a whole lot of nothing. Well, there was the hatchling army making its suicidal march to the ocean, where sharks and rays lay in wait for the poor unsuspecting creatures.
After a while, we decided to take a break and just enjoy the moonlit beach, so we just lay down and contemplated life after the trip as we tried to count the stars in the sky. (Answer: A LOT!)
After losing count of how many times we’d lost count trying to count the stars, Trevor and I got up and continued our search for a mama-to-be turtle.
Just as we were approaching the end of our walk, we came across a set of turtle tracks! We slowly and quietly walked towards the sand dune, and sure enough, we could see AND HEAR sand being flung. It sounded like somebody was being pummelled with a bat! It was such a thick THWACK!
Trevor and I sat down at around 9:15, occasionally poking our headsover the dune to check on our friend’s progress. We also didn’t want to get too close that we might scare her away though. Instead, we’d justsit back and whisper words of encouragement.
I was so tired from the day of snorkelling–the Australian sun is no joke–that I kept dozing off; but another loud THWACK would inevitably wake me up. The loud sound would sometimes be following by a sigh of exhaustion. The old girl was tired.
Finally, with a quarter hour to go before midnight, two and a half hours after we’d sat down, the THWACK-ing stopped, and I could hear the turtle crawling towards us.
I looked over my shoulder to my right, and she wasn’t in the hole anymore. I turned to my left, and there she was! I could practically reach out and touch her head! My face froze in a look of shock. My jaw was halfway to my knees. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
I stayed as low to the ground and as still as possible so as not to frighten her. Thankfully, the tree branches and the dark night offered enough cover.
As she passed us, we got to see and appreciate her full size for the first time. She was the size of a small dinner table! I walked up behind her to get a better view, when suddenly she stopped. I thought perhaps she’d noticed me and had become frightened.
Nope. She was just taking a breather. She was completely worn out. She stopped every few strides to take another deep breath. Once she reached the water, though, it was like all of the weight of the world lifted off of her shoulders.
That’ll do, turtle. That’ll do.