Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday night - Ike

It was time to screen my two turtle nests Wednesday night and though the sky was incredibly beautiful, there was a slight eeriness about it.

This is nest PB 7111 which was washed over by Gustav on September 1, where a large piling came to rest. Still, despite all the drama which occurred above ground, faint activity could be heard within the nest. Some of the sea turtle eggs had obviously survived the previous storm and hatched.

I was anxious about occasional waves which began washing close to the sand fencing as I began to set the screen for the night. It was located about 12 feet behind the row of fencing and at a good elevation, but waves were growing.

I made contact with Kirsten, who was keeping an eye on other nests between Park East and Opal Beach. She suggested I step-off the distance between the nest and high water mark, and keep her informed. One of her nests was making a lot of noise and she needed to stay close to it, but she wanted to assess the situation at PB 7111. That's what makes her so great at her job.

Kirsten make contact with her supervisor, District Biologist Mark Nicholas, and they planned to meet at my location around 9:00 - 9:30 p.m. to see if there were any options in the event conditions deteriorated.

Meanwhile, darkness settled over the island and bands of clouds spiraled above me. Moonlight gleamed like liquid mercury on the dark sea and the waiting game continued for hatchlings.

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