Turtle Patrol Report June 11-17

It’s been an interesting week here on our little patch of paradise. We have 5 new nests this which brings us to a total of 17 for the season!

With the Fourth of July holiday coming up soon, I would like to remind everyone to treat the beach as if it were their own front yard. Large holes, sand castles, coolers, grills, trash, beach chairs and tents can all cause big problems for the nesting turtles and other beach goers. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated by all who want to use the beach. 

Since Seabrook is a delightfully dog friendly community, it is important to respect the rules that are in place for everyone’s benefit. This way we are able to keep our dogs and all the humans happy. Please pick up after your dog. There are numerous places scattered around the island to dispose of their waste and obtain pick up bags. Please keep your dog on a leash at all times except when allowed to be off leash in the designated area of the beach at the designated time. Even when your dog is allowed to be off leash, do not let them approach people or other dogs unless they are expressly encouraged to do so. Dogs should never be allowed in the dunes or the bird nesting areas at any time. Dogs off leash should still be under voice control. We all appreciate everyone’s efforts to keep our beach safe, clean and beautiful.

June 11, 2023
Nothing to report other than another lovely morning to walk on the beach. The turtles must have been sleeping in and enjoying the pleasant night.

Nest 13 – June 12, 2023 
Nest 13 was found by the very effective and fortunate team of Rob Jerome and Mike Vinson near Boardwalk 3. This nest was left in-situ.
Parts of an old dock were found between Boardwalk 9 and the dog signs on the beach at Camp Saint Christopher. Beach patrol was notified and they cleared the large debris.

Nest 14 – June 13, 2023
For the third time this year, a loggerhead was seen laying a nest when the walkers arrived. Fortunate walkers, Linda and Bill Nelson, Ginger Seabrook, Patt Tamasy, Tory Kindley, Amber Berry and her friend Rebecca found what became Nest 14 near Boardwalk 6. The walkers earnestly stood guard at a respectful distance while the turtle finished her business. DNR approved turtle patrollers, Judy Morr and Mike Vinson, measured her carapace (the top shell of a sea turtle) as she returned to the ocean. She was 41 inches from the front of her carapace to the notch at the tail and 37 inches across. The nest of 121 eggs was relocated to a location north of Boardwalk 6.

Some of the eggs were unusually large, unusually small or oddly shaped. The largest one was the size of a goose egg! A normal loggerhead egg is the same size and shape as a ping pong ball.

Finding a nesting turtle still on the beach has been a life goal for many long-time turtle patrollers. Years can pass between these events so finding three in one month is almost unheard of on our little island. The walkers also found a Pelican egg that appeared to have washed up on the beach. Other walkers found a lovely crawl near Boardwalk 4 but no nest was found.

Nest 15 – June 14, 2023
The loggerheads must be enjoying the warm summery weather as we have our third nest in as many days. The crawl was discovered on North Beach by walkers Lynda Zegers, Nancy Kupersmith, Jackie Brooks, and Andrea Daley with Kristopher Daley. 148 eggs were relocated to a more elevated location in the dunes.

June 15, 2023
No new nests this morning but that doesn’t mean we didn’t find anything interesting on the beach this day. A capsized boat was seen in the water between The Club and the yellow house. Beach Patrol confirmed it was the same boat that had been stuck on the sandbar previously. Walkers on the beach in front of Camp Saint Christopher and Pelican Watch Villas reported finding debris from the capsized boat including 9 life preservers, 2 boat cushions, a bag of toys, a sippy cup, ear buds in their case along with unopened snacks and bottles of water. Fortunately, there are no known injuries related to the incident.

Nest 16 – June 16, 2023
We have nest 16 on June 16! Walkers Sandy MacCoss, Laura Wendling, Jennifer McLaughlin, Lori Chait and David Williams found the crawl 250 yards south of Boardwalk 2. It had been laid in the dunes so it was able to be left in-situ.
In less exciting news, a set of stairs was found on the beach just north of Boardwalk 6 and more unoccupied life jackets on the beach by Camp Saint Christopher.

Nest 17 – June 17, 2023
Could a trend be starting? Nest 17 was found on June 17 near the vehicle entrance at Boardwalk 2 by walkers Nancy Chomel, Vivien Joklie, and Elaine Morris. The turtle cleverly disguised her nest by digging in two places before she found the right spot for her eggs. After eventually finding the location of the nest in the path of the vehicle entrance, 121 eggs were relocated to a safer location.

Nancy, Vivien and Elaine also found Nest 12 last Saturday with the assistance of some young visitors. Unfortunately, that picture was not included in last week’s report so it is being included now.

In less exciting news, another life jacket and boat cushion were found near Pelican Watch Villas.

For more information, visit our website siturtlepatrol.com.

-Submitted by Anne Snelgrove, Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol

(Image credit: Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol)