As the summer sun started to paint the skies with shades of orange and pink, I embarked on a journey this past summer that changed my perception of both nature and relaxation. I decided to visit the serene shores of my favorite seashore, Folly Beach, where I watched a dedicated group of conservationists known as the “Folly Beach Turtle Team." Little did I know that spending my days at the beach, watching the team count hatched eggs, searching for live hatchlings, and watching these tiny creatures return to the sea, would not only be an incredible experience but also a lesson in finding tranquility in the most unexpected places.
The Call of the Ocean
First of all, I love the beach and the ocean. Being greeted by the gentle sound of waves coming ashore is like a lullaby that instantly puts my mind at ease. The salty breeze carried with it a sense of freedom, and I knew that I wanted to come to the beach as much as I could during the summer and my decision that I would visit as often as I could.
Meeting the Turtle Teams
The dedicated volunteers of the Turtle Team worked tirelessly to protect and preserve the local sea turtle population. Their knowledge and dedication were awe-inspiring. Their shared love for these magnificent creatures was evident in every conversation.
Counting Hatched Eggs
One of the primary tasks of the Turtle Teams was counting hatched eggs. It was an incredible sight to see these delicate, golf-ball-sized eggs being pulled from the nest after there was evidence that hatchlings had indeed started making their way to the ocean. There would be tiny turtle tracks – LOTS of them – so the team would know where to dig. With utmost care, the teams carefully counted and recorded the hatched eggs, ensuring their survival was monitored closely.
Searching for Live Hatchlings
Perhaps the most exhilarating part of my journey was waiting at each nest count to see if there were any live hatchlings still in the nest. If there were, these little sometimes needed a little help from being tired and probably a bit thirsty and hungry. Guiding these young turtles to the water, watching them instinctively paddle into the vast expanse of the sea, was a moment of pure magic.
Connecting with Nature
The ocean and beach provided the perfect backdrop for my summer adventure. I found a connection with nature that I hadn’t felt before. The gentle ebb and flow of the tides mirrored the rhythms of life itself, and I found solace in the ease of it all.
Meeting Nice People
Beyond the natural beauty of the beach and the fascinating world of sea turtles, I had the privilege of meeting some incredibly kind and like-minded people. Whether it was fellow volunteers, locals, or tourists, everyone I encountered was united by a shared appreciation for the environment. Friendships blossomed effortlessly and we are still in contact with each other.
As the summer drew to a close, I realized that this experience had provided me with more than just a break from my daily routine. It had taught me the art of finding tranquility in the most unexpected places. The beach, the turtles, the people—all of it had come together to create a sense of inner peace that I needed right now.
Spending the summer on the beach, watching the Turtle Teams count hatched eggs, searching for live hatchlings, and meeting kind-hearted people, was a transformative experience. It reminded me of the importance of slowing down, connecting with nature, and finding solace in the simple pleasures of life. The ocean and the beach became my sanctuary, a place where I could recharge, reflect, and rediscover the beauty of the world around me. If you ever have the opportunity to join or watch a Turtle Team in action or spend a summer by the sea, I wholeheartedly recommend it. It just might change your life as it did mine.