A large group of us headed out for the nest excavation. It was only my second excavation so I was quite excited, there’s always a chance of seeing a couple of stragglers who’ve not yet vacated the nest. We arrived at the site and Robyn and Jo began to dig. They found the egg chamber and it soon became apparent that there were still a lot of hatchlings in the nest, so they decided to fill it back in to allow them to emerge in their own time. We turned to leave but for some fortuitous reason we loitered close by for a while, and we were so glad that we did. A couple of moments passed and the hatchlings began to emerge from the nest.
First just a few and then more and more appeared. We watched as these perfect miniature creatures broke free from the sand, clambering and scrambling over one another as they began their epic trip down the beach to the sea. Their tiny flippers moved as fast as they could, scrabbling across the sand. We watched them overcome the obstacles of driftwood and entanglement in vines and eventually they made it to the shoreline. There was a tense moment where one fell into a crab hole but we scooped it out and set it on its way. We watched as the waves swept them up, off to start their lives in the big wide ocean. They kept coming and it seemed like there were hundreds of them, but in no time at all, they were all gone. We finished the excavation and headed back to base on a high. Another awesome day of life in Jalova!
-Rachel, 6-month Intern