Eggs. Turtle eggs to be exact.
Last night (well, this morning really), I encountered my third turtle as an intern at the Caño Palma station here in Costa Ríca.
However, the last two turtles my team and I worked with were both less hands on than this one.
This one was special for me in many a-ways.
For starters, the last two turtles were Hawksbills, which for some are a rarity to encounter. But I was already bored with them and wanted something new.
Last night, I finally got a green.
This green turtle, though, was not too happy to get us as her observers.
I was assigned as ‘egg counter,’ which meant I was to have probably the closest interaction with her.
The experience is indescribable, really.
What we must do is place our hands underneath the tail of the turtle and gently cup and then let fall her eggs as she lays them.
I’ll admit I felt uncomfortable at first; and this does not include the fact that my pants were torn all along the crotch and backside, so my bare bottom was cotched in the air. This also doesn’t include the fact that it was pouring rain and I had to tie my poncho, that could protect me against the cold drops, around my waist to protect my tush.
The intense contractions she had whilst my hand was also cupping her tail, could be felt before every egg slowly drops.
For a first-timer, it was a bit of an introduction.
I kept thinking, soaking from head to toe, “When will this be over?” But then the night continued into morning, and as my team and I rushed back 2 miles to return to the station before 5 a.m., we managed to watch the sun rise and sing Sister Act’s ‘Oh Happy Day’ to the rhythm of the waves.
It wasn’t until I was dry, warm, and for the most part, rested, when I gave myself the chance to ponder on the happenings of the previous night, and realize what I had actually witnessed: the birth of anew.
And so this trip continues to be…