We are very fortunate to live walking distance from the beach and ocean. Not too long ago, Fred and I went for a walk after dinner. It has been so nice to have my parents here and be able to go on walks together, just the two of us. That evening, I didn’t really feel like walking on the beach but Fred convinced me to walk by the beach, on the little path next to the parking meters. As we were walking, I saw a woman getting out of her car wearing a sea turtle preservation t-shirt with a little bucket in her hands. As curious as I am, I had to ask her what was in her bucket. She was kind enough to show us the baby turtle she was carrying. The green baby turtle had mistakenly started its journey to the ocean in the middle of the day and since the sand gets so hot during the day, there was no way it would make it alive to the water. Someone had been kind enough to pick it up and bring it to the preservation to rest. It was now time to release it.
We learned so much in the 10 minutes we spent with the woman from the preservation. She explained that many baby turtles don’t make the trek from their nest to the water as crabs and gulls prey on them. Once they make it to the ocean, they typically swim several miles off shores, guided by the magnetic fields of the earth but they remain the prey of sharks, big fish, and birds. About one in 1,000 survives to adulthood.
I had the immense chance to pet this precious little baby turtle that we had serendipitously encountered. In my mind I wished it all the courage and strength it needed for its lengthy and perilous journey. The baby turtle was flapping its little legs around looking ready and eager to embark on its journey. We stayed and watched its little head bob in and out of the water to catch a breath as it swam offshore. We stayed until it completely disappeared from our sight. After we left, all I could think about was “one chance in a thousand…”
Swim little baby turtle swim, I am with you. Together we will beat the odds…