Friday, February 27, 2009

Back to Mon Repos...


Green Turtle

Deja vu, all over again! I decided to go back to Mon Repos (french for My Rest) last night to watch more turtles hatching. There are three species of sea turtles that lay eggs on Mon Repos beach: Loggerheads, (which I saw the previous evening,) Green Turtles, the second largest of the sea turtles (Leatherbacks are the largest); and Flatback Turtles, which are native only to Australia. Last night I got to see both Greens and Flatbacks run for the surf! To help direct the babies to the water's edge, those in the group that have flashlights (of course I brought mine!) stand in a straight line from the sand dune to the surf, each facing the next person's back 'leap frog'-style. You shine your flashlight (they call them torches in AU) on the beach between the spread legs of the person in front of you. The turtles (as many as 130) race between your legs (mostly) as they follow the light to the sea. It tickles as they bump into your legs and climb over your feet! It was remarkable to witness and I'm glad I decided to stay in Bargara one more night.


Green Turtle


Australian Flatback Turtle

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
It's Christopher. Your pictures are cooooooooool!!! My favorite picture was you holding the koalas! Hope you're having fun!

Christopher

JPT said...

Hey, Mr. Chris...
I have to say the best part of exploring Australia is getting to see wildlife I've never seen before. I'm also realizing a couple of things: I prefer being near the ocean than being inland; and I prefer small towns to bigger cities. I will visit Sydney, a friend will show me around that big city, but otherwise, I'm following the small roads that run along the coast. I think I need to learn to surf... it looks like fun! :-)
Jeff
I love the koalas, too; but the sea turtles are my favorites. They're sooooo small but perfectly shaped!

Jesse Dunbar said...

Hey Jeff,
I love the pics of the sea turtles, it is amazing how they look Just like full grown ones at such a young age, All your pics have been great!
Jesse

JPT said...

Jesse,
What's also amazing is the fact that these little turtles are buried in the ground almost two and half feet deep! It takes them four or five days from the time they open their shells until they pop their heads out of the sand. They race to the sea and then swim for three days until they catch the Australian current which takes them down the coast and out to the Pacific. After that, researchers know very little about their next 30 years. They're just floating around the Pacific getting bigger it seems. (And trying to stay alive!)
JP

Wayne said...

Hi Jeff
Looks like you are having the time of your life. Must be wonderful to experience the beauty and nature of the country.Wish I was there, but I'll to view the beauty and nature through your camera lens.If you should decide to travel outside of Australia you might consider Bali if you really want to learn how to surf. I have a very good friend who lives there and is a world record surfer. Those waves you see out there, she has surfed them many times.
Be safe :)

JPT said...

Wayne...
You're the second person to suggest Bali! It's supposedly very beautiful. And it's inexpensive to get to from Australia. I'm on a travel visa, which means I can only stay 3 months in the country and then must exit... even if it's only for a day. I was thinking of going to New Zealand (south island) for a visit then I can re-enter Australia. That's when a fellow traveller said I really should consider Bali.
I guess it depends on the weather overall. (Or maybe I'll be ready to return to the states in two months... we'll see.) I just bought a fishing rod and decided I'm not going to eat dinner tonight... unless I catch it. (This is, of course, subject to change!)
Jeff