In my previous post, I mentioned the nest are getting closer and closer...well I just found out that a false crawl was reported on Waities Island! This is the earliest reported false crawl in the island since they started patroling it in 2006. A false crawl is when a sea turtle comes on the beach to nest, but for one reason or another decides the spot isn't just right and she goes back to the water. She may very well return tonight and nest or choose another nearby beach. I'll talk more about false crawls a little later in the season, but this is a very good sign!
Here we go NMB Sea Turtle Patrol! I've got the turtle phone by my side every morning waiting for a phone call haha.
14 nests so far in South Carolina...and every nest is getting closer and closer to the Grand Strand. Of course there is no real way of predicting when the turtles will start nesting on our beaches, they don't necessarily move further north with every nest. But I would LOVE to have a nest on North Myrtle Beach before the end of May. Last year's first nest was around this time, the timing was perfect!
Our water temperature just made it to the 70 degree mark and I think loggerheads need at least 68º water. We need some nice warm sunny days to get the temps up just a little bit more I think.
Saturday, Pirate said bon voyage to the South Carolina Sea Turtle Hospital. After spending almost two years in the hospital, he is finally well enough to be released. I wanted to go to the release, but I didn't get away from work in time. Pirate has had a very long and expensive stay at the hospital. The video below explains why pirate landed in the hospital and his struggle over the past 18 months.
Let's hope that this year is as magical as last year! I'm doing the series again on WMBF news, and this year it's going to be even bigger and better! I'm lucky enough that a very talented news photographer is also my fiancè, and he's just as passionate about sea turtles as I am!
We've already had a great interview with Ann Willson from Myrtle Beach State Park. She gave some great insight on everything from the DNA study to the sea turtle nesting forecast for this year. I'll have bits and pieces of her interview sprinkled throughout the series.
Pirate waiting on food
The highlight of my journey so far this season is getting to visit the Sea Turtle Hospital in Charleston, SC. I had a chance to see Pirate and Little Debbie, both Grand Strand sea turtles, as well as all the behind the scenes activities. The best news of all is Pirate and Little Debbie are getting to go back home...to the ocean! Pirate has had a long stay at the hospital and a very hard road to recovery, but now is doing good.
The hospital is also getting ready for a HUGE release (Pirate and 5 other turtles) this weekend at Isle of Palms. Look for a shot of Pirate swimming out to the open sea this Sunday evening on WMBF News at 6.