Turtle Patrol Report June 18-24

With the official advent of summer this past week, our lovely Sea Turtles are continuing to be productive. There are 4 new nests this past week, bringing our total to 21 nests for the season as of Saturday June 24. The nests for this week equals the total number of nests we had for the entire month of May!

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 back 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.

Nest 18 – June 18, 2023
Nest 18 was apparently laid to celebrate Father’s Day since our first nest was laid on Mother’s Day! Mark and Valerie Doane and Rachel and Marshall Carter found this nest near Boardwalk 3 and 128 eggs were quickly relocated to higher ground to protect them from the incoming tide.
Beach chairs, a tent, cooler, food and even a kayak had been left on the beach in front of Camp Saint Christopher. Beach Patrol was been notified. Many areas of the beach were inaccessible due to the high tide but a lovely sunrise and tracks that were probably made by an Armadillo were seen on North Beach
The animal did not predate any of the Sea Turtle nests.

June 19, 2023
Linda and Bill Nelson, who were celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary, and Turtle Patroller extraordinaire, Mike Vinson, found a promising crawl over the rocks near Boardwalk 6 but after a thorough search no nest was found. Since it was above the high tide line and had signs of being a likely nest, a false crawl flag was placed at the location and the area will continue to be monitored for activity.

June 20, 2023
A drizzly and cloudy morning did not dampen the spirits of our spunky Turtle Patrol Walkers. Only two obvious false crawls and no nests were found but everyone agreed the natural beauty of our island is enough inspiration to get up out of bed and be on the beach by 6:30 am every morning.

Nest 19 – June 21, 2023
Nest 19 was found right at Boardwalk 3 by a large group of walkers. Judy Morr, Kathy Hanson and Kathy Thompson, along with Turtle Patrol alumni, Jo and Jim Eisenhauer (not pictured), their daughter Tricia, son-in-law Marc and grandson Connor. The walkers and their guests relocated 96 eggs to a higher location 10 yards north of Boardwalk 3. Great way to start off the summer!

Nest 20 – June 22, 2023
The previous evening’s storms and the morning’s winds must have inspired the turtles to come up on the beach. Walkers Dianne Woychick, Debbie Daskaloff, Kathy Kunkleman, Sheila Smock and Lisa Pugh found Nest 20 just north of Boardwalk 1. This adventurous Loggerhead Turtle climbed the dune, turned left behind the grasses and climbed higher to a nice flat area free of vegetation to lay her eggs where it was left in-situ.

There were two obvious false crawls up to the rocks between Boardwalk 6 and The Club. Both crawls were similar in width to the crawl for Nest 20 which appears to have been laid later. It is possible that all three crawls were made by the same determined turtle.
A helicopter with arms for spraying for mosquitos was seen flying low over the dunes but the windy conditions interfered with the ability to complete the task. They were seen on the following Saturday morning completing the work.

Nest 21 – June 23, 2023
It was a dark and rainy morning but since there was no lightning that didn’t stop Sandy MacCoss, Jennifer McLaughlin, Brandy Embrey, David Williams, Charlotte Hanson and Jane Magioncalda from finding a very faint crawl 180 yards north of Boardwalk 6. Nest 21 was found in a hollow behind the dunes. To avoid ponding, 122 eggs were relocated to a higher spot 200 yards North of Boardwalk 6.
The walkers on North Beach found a large hole along with some shovels. They used the shovels to fill in the hole and then put the equipment on the bench at Boardwalk 1.

June 24, 2023
There were hopes that our streak of nests would continue but all we had was a false crawl. Walkers Marnie Ellis and J-Anna Smith found a crawl that was difficult to see near the area with dead trees in front of Camp Saint Christopher, known to locals as the boneyard. There was a large, deeply embedded, spikey root in the center of the area, making it impossible for the turtle to lay eggs. It was impressive that the walkers found the crawl at all as the Sea Turtle came in and left before high tide and most of the crawl had washed away.
Walker, Lesley Gore, sent a picture of a lovely sunrise as well as a large area of sand built up in the river between Seabrook and Kiawah.

Walkers on the beach in front of Camp Saint Christopher, won the dubious award of finding the most trash, including but not limited to, three balloons, a large trash bag, buried and full of sand, and a partially buried tire. Melanie Jerome and Kim Schutte finished walking to the point at the end of the beach while Anne Snelgrove doggedly dug up the trash bag and attempted to dislodge the tire. Unfortunately, the tide interrupted the effort. The location of the tire was noted and Beach Patrol was notified. No sign of the tire was seen the next day so it may have been reburied in the sand or the Beach Patrol was successful in extracting the offending object.

For more infomation, visit our website siturtlepatrol.com

-Submitted by Anne Snelgrove, Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol

(Image credit: Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol)