We were on the island of Ascension. I was 12. Our family was sailing around the world on a yacht, Phoenix, which my dad had designed and built and we were on our way from Capetown, South Africa to Belem, Brazil, via the islands of St. Helena and Ascension.
At midnight under a full moon in mid-March we walked out onto the beach and settled down to watch a giant green sea turtle make her laborious way onto dry sand. I mention it on His Scribe (June 18, 2010) in “How I got over being shy.”
Over the next hour or so, while we watched quietly with flashlights, the turtle scraped out sand and laid maybe a hundred ping-pong sized eggs in the hole, scraped the sand back and lumbered away.
Until recently, that’s the only part of the story I knew. I mean I knew in my head what would happen next, long after we sailed on, but our experience of it ended that night.
Then a friend sent us a video from YouTube that showed the rest of the story, the best part, the most delightful part. Sand starting to shift and change shapes (“boil”) and little bodies poking their way out of it and heading almost unerringly for the ocean.
After decades, closure.
The actual video she sent me is no longer available but the one above is similar. See also http://www.seaturtle.org/mtrg/projects/ascension/leaflet.pdf