Every morning, we drive Jorgi to Cerritos Beach, located at the north end of the Cerritos District, to partake in his favorite hobby–crabbing. Jorgi is peeking out from the backseat. I like to think our fur angels, Bella and Pedro, join us in spirit.
Normally, I bring a camera and photograph the ever-changing landscape: the impressive waves after a storm, the pelicans skimming the surface of the ocean or Jorgi searching for crabs. In Canada, Jorgi fixated on squirrels never coming close to catching one of the cunning devils. (Bella and Pedro only showed interest in crabbing to please us, that I am sure of.)
Jorgi’s old eyes look to us to suss out the tiny creatures. The fools we are, we indulge him by finding them, pointing them out, and praising him as he participates in a game of “never catching and release”. Funny thing is, although he appears to pounce on them, he misses them by a mile.
Today, I didn’t have my camera to photograph the heron taunting Jorgi or the baby sea turtle John spotted on the stone steps many, many feet from the water’s edge. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen baby sea turtles. While RVing in Huatulco (wah-TOOL-co), located on the Pacific coast in the state of Oaxaca, we participated in Releasing the Turtles.. But it is the first time we’ve seen a lone baby on this beach. Obviously disorientated, she was retreating from the water..
Did you know that Turtles are reptiles and date from 157 million years ago? And now, they are endangered.
The Release of Sea Turtles in Mazatlan , an article I found on line, explains how special these reptiles are:
Sea Turtles are found in all of the world’s oceans, with exception of the arctic. There are seven species of Sea Turtle, and six of these arrive to lay eggs each year on beaches across Mexico.
Although Sea Turtles live most of their lives at sea (and mate at sea) the females must return to land to lay their eggs. One of the wonderful (and mysterious) aspects of these beautiful creatures is that the females return to the precise location where they themselves were born to lay their own eggs. It is thought that they are sensitive to, and use, the Earth’s magnetic field as a means of navigation.
A sea turtle’s nest may contain up to 200 eggs. The female will bury her “clutch” of eggs in the sand, where they will incubate for around fifty days before the eggs hatch, and the baby turtles make the often perilous journey from the beach to the ocean.
In addition to natural predators, to whom the baby turtles are easy prey as they scurry slowly along the beach from their birth nest to the water, Sea Turtles are also endangered by Man: people who would steal the eggs and baby turtles for profit as both fetch high prices on the black market.
We could only assume the onslaught of heavy equipment shoring up the crumbling sea wall ravaged by heavy tides this season disturbed the nest. Or, the high tide carried this helpless baby to this spot. Did the mother and the rest of her babies survive the trek to the ocean? We’ll never know.
“She’s dead,” I said.
“No, she’s alive, but barely.” John said.
Instinct kicked in. John grabbed Jorgi’s lead while I placed the tiny creature into the palm of my hands. She is dry and crusty but spreads her fins. I run to the ocean. The waves crash at the shoreline and I wait for a well-timed wave into which I can successfully release her. Two feet forward, three back as the sand sucks me into the wild foamy waves.
Jorgi is fidgeting. He wants in on the action.
“Put her in.” John yells.
“I’m trying. The waves are too powerful.”
The opportunity is fleeting, but a perfect wave is upon us and I watch her disappear under the swell.
Since I couldn’t photograph this most exhilarating moment, I decided to create a doodlewash, my first, thanks to the encouragement from my friend Charlie O’Shields . If you would like to learn more about doodlewashes, Charlie shares his wonderful creations on his website.
I’m not much of a sketch artist and I know this doodlewash is amateurish, but it’s my memory.
This hobby would be great while RVing, don’t you think?