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.
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.