Friday, October 8, 2010

Pompano Beach, Florida

Touch down at the Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport was 10:15 pm, but it was like it was 7:15 pm for us.  That was good, because we couldn't find our condo in Pompano Beach until midnight.  We almost walked to the beach that was only a block and a half away, but we nixed that over getting up early to take a sunrise stroll.

We did not make it for the sunrise, but it was a beautiful, warm and breezy day with waves breaking close to the beach.  The first thing we spotted were yellow taped areas marking off an area about 10-12 square feet.  Upon closer inspection we spied a cautioning tag attached to the marker closest to the water.  It warned us that if we disturbed this area in any way, shape, or form, we would be cited with a $50,000 fine for abusing a turtle nesting site.  No identification or date was written, so we did not know when the tape was placed nor what kind of turtle was involved.

I spent some time looking up what Pompano Beach had accomplished in helping the potential newborns to survive.  In 1999 a law was passed that lights nearest the beach were to be turned off so as not to distract the newly hatched turtles away from the water.  It is usually the bright full moon that draws their attention towards the sea.

There are three kinds of turtles that use this area for nesting:  loggerheads, greens, and leatherbacks. The loggerhead turtles' peak nesting time is late June into July.  The gestation period of 53-55 days would have them hatching in mid to late September.  The greens are a little earlier nesting, while the leatherbacks are unpredictable.  The marked areas we saw must have been a late loggerhead nester.  I wonder if anyone will come back and watch the little guys and gals as they head off to the water?

Once when we were in Mexico, we stayed at a housing development on a beach where nightly runs were made along the beach to discover turtle nesting sites.  If one was discovered, the Mexican Marines that were on patrol, would dig up the eggs after the mother laid them, place them in styrofoam boxes packed with sand, labeled with the date, and placed in a storage shed until the due date for hatching.  Once they started to hatch, the turtles were herded towards the edge of the water with humans lining the way.  We were told that about 75% of the turtles would survive. If they were left to fend for themselves, the eggs would often be dug up by the locals for food, or if they did hatch, raccoons, foxes, and birds were the on land predators; in water, fish and other birds would attack them so that only about 3% survived.  By the way, we got to see a mother turtle lay her eggs there in the bright full moon off Mexico's western coast.


  1. The two of us got a personal private tour of a nursey shed on the beach somewhere in Mexico. What I remember most was holding the ping pong ball size egg and the awful smell of some eggs gone bad.

  2. It was San Francisco, Mexico. Outside of Puerto V. What an excting place to be in a turtle hut as we were. That trip to Mexico was very memorable for me, the beach, the small town we were in, licky Larry. I am glad I have great memories of travel. I am also glad that you guys are going, seeing and doing. Keep on posting, I really enjoy your blog.

  3. That was close to where we were, too, north of Puerto Vallarta. There was a shed there, but they did not offer to take us there. Was it close to a river?

  4. Close to the sea. We swam in the water and oh how nice and warm it was. It was a whole little village, with small shops and interesting people. I always thought we would return there. We did zip line in PV too. LONG bumpy road to get to the huge trees. It was really an adventure. Hard to tell you where, it has been so long ago. Boo Hoo. Hey what are you guys doing in Florida besides seeing Bob Dylan?