Thursday, May 5, 2011

First Turtle Walk of 2011 Season

 Yesterday I met friends for lunch at Gramma Dot's located in the Sanibel Marina.  This has always been a special place for me.  I love watching the boats coming and going and also find it relaxing sitting near the water.  They now have air-conditioning to make your dining experience much more comfortable.  It seemed to me that the service was even better than before.  The servers were very well organized and pleasantly handled a line of waiting patrons.  Our service was excellent, as was our food.

Crispy Coconut Shrimp

 Fried Grouper & Chips

 Grilled Grouper Sandwich & Chips

Last evening we drove to a Sanibel Causeway island to watch the sunset.

This morning was our first 'Turtle Walk' of the 2011 nesting season. We were looking forward to it, hoping to see a turtle crawl and a new nest. There have been 5 nests and 4 false crawls found on the west end already. 

We are walking a new zone this year, which is a mile long. We begin at Gulfside City Park and walk west to the Tarpon Bay Public Access.
As we walked out onto the beach, just before daylight, the first thing we saw was someone walking down the beach with a flashlight. It's disheartening when you find someone breaking the rules before you even begin. :(

It was windy and cool this morning, perfect weather for a walk on the beach. 
We quickly started passing by one sand hole after another.

A boogie board left behind.


There were a few small shells on the beach, but mostly crumbs.

This looked to be one busy crab hole, by the looks of the tracks.  :(  I only wanted to see turtle tracks!

Casa Ybel

When I noticed the pink sky, I realized that we were not going to get a direct view of the sunrise this morning.  Sanibel Island is shaped like a boomerang and we are walking at the southernmost point of the island, therefore no sunrise view this time of year.

Island Beach Club, some of you may know that because of the landmark palm tree leaning toward the gulf.  You can be quite a distance down the beach and be able to get your bearings when you see this tree.  Sadly the tree has died, but it still serves a purpose with an osprey nest on top.

Something strange was ahead, and in front of Sanibel Cottages.

Yes, another hole.  This one is going to have to filled in.  It's like a waiting trap for a sea turtle coming ashore to nest.

See the landmark tree?

Pointe Santo de Sanibel

Very quiet there this morning.

The end of our zone.

Tarpon Bay Public Beach Access

Sting Ray had one fin missing.

Pile of Pen shells

Only shell we picked up this morning was a black flat scallop shell.

About 35 cents???

Prettiest view of the walk. :)

Back at our access; one full bag of trash, no turtle nests.

A nice walk, nonetheless. 


Della said...

Your lunch looked delicious! I love the tropical touch of the edible orchids!

What a shame that you found so many holes, and garbage on the beach. I'm glad you and your group are out there doing turtle walks, and watching out for these amazing creatures. Too many people don't realize what they do by leaving holes. Leaving garbage is unacceptable, I don't care who you are. The beach should be left the way you found it, OR BETTER!

Thanks for picking up after the ones who don't seem to know any better!

Hug to you sweet lady for all you do!

Kaybe said...

It wasn't me with the flashlight - I swear. I switch to night vision on May 1st. After I saw a turtle nest hatch last year I became super aware of the obstacles those little guys have to crawl over to make it to the water.

Take good care,


NanaDiana said...

Thank you for caring enough to pick up after all the idiots that leave things laying around on your beautiful island...and thank you for watching out for the turtles so that we can all enjoy their lives.

Your grouper looks wonderful. It is the one fish we cannot get here...and my personal favorite.

Happy, Happy Mother's Day to you, Tootie- I know it is a bittersweet day for you- God bless you, my sweet FL friend~ Diana

Mare said...

Miss Renee and I are super hungry now after looking at your food photos...yum!

There are days when I really wish we lived in your area. Following along on your journeys stirs up the nature lover in me and makes me long to share it all with Renee. Seeing that we 'homeschool', talk about learning while living. The possibilities would be endless!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

You're right - that was the prettiest picture of the morning. WOW! Also love your turtle walks. Very cool that you get to do that!

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

Some people just don't get the rules. Digging in the sand is great, but I wish they would fill the holes whether it's turtle season or not.

And trash? I walk my neighborhood every day and I'm amazed that after I pick up the trash one morning, the following morning it's there again. People just toss their fast food trash out like it doesn't matter. If they'll do that in our residential area, I hope they NEVER go to the beach!