It’s the last quiet week of summer vacation before returning to school. It’s been a good summer, with a trip to Universal Studios; a grueling but successful move; and getting a dog. The one thing I didn’t do this summer is see a baby sea turtle take its first, adorable steps into the sea.
But I did get to see that last summer!
There’s something magical and miraculous about witnessing a baby sea turtle leave his little egg and waddle into the ocean. I thought I’d never see it in my lifetime unless I was specifically trying to see it.
Adding to the magic was that it was totally unplanned—wonderful happenstance.
With that, enjoy this treacly little post, 3 August 2020’s “Baby Sea Turtle“:
I spent this past weekend at Fripp Island—one last hurrah before reality resumes (while teachers start back at my little school next Monday, with classes resuming on the 20th, I’ve been asked to come in to paint some classrooms, as one of our top Buildings & Grounds workers is in the hospital with meningitis). It was an amazing weekend for many reasons: family time, excellent seafood, good swimming, etc.
But something magical happened. Around 7:45 PM EST on 1 August 2020, my girlfriend and I were taking a walk on the beach and saw this little guy:
Yep. That’s a baby sea turtle, freshly hatched, waddling his way into the ocean.
Readers who grew up, as I did, with constant sea turtle propaganda in schools and beachside signage will appreciate the majesty of this little turtle struggling to reach the mighty sea. I never thought I would actually see a sea turtle hatchling in the wild. It’s the real-world equivalent of seeing a unicorn.
Sure, I’d always supposed it was possible, but incredibly implausible. My girlfriend—a chemist, not a biologist—positively shrieked with surprised joy.
We figured out the little guy had floated down on a current through a small tide pool, as we realized there weren’t others near him. After he made it into the ocean, we walked up the beach another hundred feet or so and saw people watching another little guy straining seaward. The lady picked the turtle up and placed him into the ocean, which (per my years of sea turtle propaganda) is a big no-no. However, we soon realized it was a team of sea turtle conservationists (they had matching Sea Turtle shirts), so we figured they had the clearance to give Mother Nature a little push.
What a joyful happenstance. Had we waited even a few moments longer to take our walk, we never would have known what we had missed. God’s Creation is beautiful and wonderful; I am thankful He gave us the opportunity to see one tiny example of His ultimate Creativity.