Witness The Beauty of Nature With A Front Row Seat!
Florida’s east coast is such a great vacation spot, even loggerhead sea turtles love to come here! Nesting season, which takes place between April and September, offers an amazing experience for tourists to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. As a local who grew up in Melbourne Beach, I have done my fair share of night turtle walks and I have never gotten tired of watching the sea turtles as they dig their nests and lay their eggs before disappearing back into the abyss of the Atlantic. If you are planning a vacation to Melbourne Beach, or anywhere along Florida’s east cost, make sure to incorporate this activity into your plans. Not only is it free, but it’s a memory you won’t forget, and one you can’t get just anywhere. Luckily, the SeaGlass Inn happens to be just minutes from the beach, so all of our guests have the opportunity for this wonderful adventure!
A Little About These Turtles
Loggerhead turtles are abundant in ocean waters and are the largest of all hard shelled turtles. Adults can get up to three feet long and weigh anywhere between 200 and 350 pounds! One of the most amazing things about these turtles is that the females, after swimming thousands of miles all over the world, will return to the exact beach they were born to lay their eggs. During nesting season, females will usually lay four to seven nests, coming back to the beach about once every 14 days. That equals a lot of chances to catch these turtles in action on the beach! According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 23,457 turtle nests were logged during last years nesting season!
Whether you are with your husband/wife, significant other, family, or flying solo, this is an activity that is perfect for everyone! During peak nesting season, which is through June and July, you can choose to attend a scheduled turtle walk put on by the local Sea Turtle Preservation Society. Check out their website to find out how to schedule a turtle walk. These walks are great for those who are interested in learning more about sea turtles; before the walk the STPS puts on a presentation about loggerheads, the nesting season, and how you can help keep these endangered animals safe. The group then goes to find nesting turtles, and the guides help you to get an excellent view of the action all while keeping the turtles safe and unharmed! If you prefer to venture out on your own you are still very likely to find multiple turtles just by strolling down the beach at night! However, since these are an endangered species, there are very important guidelines to follow while looking for nesting turtles.
- Do not handle the eggs or put any foreign objects into the nest.
- Do not use any flashlights or cell phones for light as they can confuse and disrupt the turtles.
- If you see a turtle coming up the beach, try to stay quiet and out of sight until she begins to lay her eggs. If she see’s or hears you she may become scared and return back to the ocean.
- Do not touch the turtles. It is illegal and can be dangerous for both you and her.
- Do not use flash when taking pictures. The high intensity light can disturb the turtle.
- Do not disrupt the tracks left by the turtles. These are often used by researchers to find and mark nests.