Texas Tech University

Just Soaking it Up!

Although we know not all of these tortugas make it to maturity, we have increased the percentage of turtles to ever reach the ocean after hatching.

May 27, 2018 • Service Breaks

By Maddie Sealey, Service Breaker

What better way to start the day with an early breakfast and morning humidity! Friday consisted of SOAKING IN our surroundings… After breakfast we ventured to the pool to soak up the morning sun. Courtney contributed crucial time to her MCAT studying, Cassidi had her nose in her book, and I took a nap. Laying under the harsh radiant sun and listening to the amazing sounds of nature around you is the best feeling Costa Rica can give you, or so far I think. After lunch our amazing driver, KiKe, took us on a short bus trip to an amazing swimming beach! The beach we are working on has too strong of a current to be safe for swimming so the trip was worth it! Beautiful ocean and beach in Costa Rica.

We headed back to Junquillal to find out BABY TURTLES HAD HATCHED!! We practically ran to the beach to find 68 out of 70 eggs hatched! 68 BABY TURTLES!!! Miranda was at the perfect place at the perfect time and was able to carry the entire bucket of turtles, meaning we all got more pictures than necessary!

Although we know not all of these TORTUGAS (Spanish word for turtles) make it to maturity, we have increased the percentage of turtles to ever reach the ocean after hatching. Increasing hatching rates will overall increase their life expectancy.. we hope. “Pan” (VerdiAzul's volunteer coordinator) said the moment sea turtles hit the ocean their life to humans becomes known as the “lost period”. No one has discovered what exactly happens from the time they hit the water to the time they come back, 15-25 years later to lay their own eggs. Releasing these babies brought pure joy and excitement! To see these amazing creatures adventure off into the beautiful ocean knowing you made a small impact on this event can change your outlook on volunteering!

After the babies disappeared into the sea the Costa Rica sunset created a breathtaking view. And to finish the day my night patrol group: Cassidi, Courtney, Taylor K., and Jacy had the late shift! Starting at 12am to finish at 3am we were head strong and ready to find a nest. Soon after our patrol started we got to experience more SOAKING! We were on the back side of the beach in the deepest softest sand you can image and here comes the rain! It is POURING DOWN!! And this is no Lubbock, Texas rain. This is the rain where you CANNOT see a foot in front of you, and could probably shower if you wanted to. You truly don't know if you are walking in the ocean or if you just have that much water in your shoes kind of rain! We finally got back to the Hatchery and Valerie (amazing leader and co-founder of VerdiAzul) decided it was safer for us to end half way than to risk it in the rain and lightning! Sadly we ended short and didn't find any eggs, but this was by far the best “SOAKING IN” we've done all trip!