Thursday, July 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Watching nature unfold, the sand to ocean trek of baby turtles

By
From page B5 | December 07, 2013 |

Do you have a bucket list; things you want to do before you leave this world?

Two weeks ago I checked off one item from my list; seeing the birthing and migration of baby turtles at the Ostional Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica. I’m not an early riser, but for this I rolled out of bed at 3 a.m. for the two hour drive south.

The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge is located in the western Costa Rica province of Guanacaste. The Refuge became protected in 1982 and was officially created as a national park in 1984 to protect one of the world’s most important nesting beaches for Olive Ridley marine turtles.

The Olive Ridley Sea Turtles are renowned for their arribadas (the Spanish word for arrivals), which are huge egg laying seasons. During arribadas the sand can be covered with thousands of turtles. The largest “arribada” recorded in Ostional took place in November 1995, when an estimated 500 000 females came ashore. Some believe that the arribadas are associated with moon phases and tides. However, there are turtles laying eggs at Ostional Beach throughout most of the year.

The turtles are normally shy and easily disturbed. However during the “arribada” the turtles become almost oblivious to disturbance by people, animals, light or sound. You’ll see them bumping into and crawling over each other, determined to fulfil their task of laying eggs at all cost.

Our group witnessed the baby turtles emerging from the nests approximately 45 days after the last arribada. Each nest had approximately 80 to 100 eggs.  The babies stay in the nest up to four days after hatching. When conditions are right they begin erupting from the sand like a volcano spewing lava. We were fortunate enough to catch several nests as they began to pour out. We watched in awe and cheered as the last few struggled to get themselves out of the sand holds.

Fascinating too is their journey down to the ocean. What a tiring feat after struggling from the nest and sometimes crawling 30 feet or more to the water.  They crawl and stop and sometimes go in circles. When they reach the water the waves often pushes them back on the beach or flips them on their backs. Visitors are warned not to touch them but a little sand pushed under their backs helps them flip to their feet again.

As if the trek from the nest to the ocean wasn’t enough, the babies are in danger of being eaten by the hundreds of black vultures and other sea birds waiting to devour them. Volunteers and some paid locals do their best to keep the birds at bay, but there are not enough people to do the job. Once they make it to the ocean other dangers await. Sadly only 1 out of 80 of the babies is expected to reach maturity.

As you may guess, the best time to visit Ostional is just before and during an arribada. These occur, as a general rule, at the start of the last quarter moon. The best months to see the biggest arribadas are between July and December.

Ostional is somewhat remote, but there are lodges and small hotels nearby.  From the San Francisco Bay Area, United, American or Delta Airlines have connecting flights into the Liberia International Airport. Ostional is approximately 2 1/2 hours south of the airport. Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose is also an option, but expect a four to six-hour journey to this destination.

This trip is a treat for nature lovers or those seeking a volunteer vacation. If you plan on renting a vehicle and making the trek yourself, a 4-wheel drive SUV is recommended, as the road to Ostional can be rugged at times. Better yet, combine this wonder with many of the others experiences Costa Rica has to offer (jungle, rain forest, volcano or cultural expeditions) and book a tour.

As always, I recommend you contact your personal travel consultant to help plan this adventure.

Where ever your bucket list leads you, I wish you happy travels!

Rose Alston is a certified travel and master cruise counselor. She operates a business in Fairfield and can be reached at rose@rosealston.com.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Cities dealing with state drought rules

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Muralist helps locals ready for some painted wall history

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

It’s ‘camping for 30′ at the Solano fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Richardson to run for Fairfield-Suisun school board

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Highway 12 crash sends 2 to hospital

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Fairfield man back in court after sixth arrest

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

 
Police release name of Vallejo homicide victim

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Mall to host Ultimate Army Throw Down

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Price will seek re-election as Fairfield mayor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Fairfield police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola as 2 isolated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

AP Analysis: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ex-IRS official called conservatives ‘crazies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Why ‘compassionate conservatism’ is still dead

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

What happened to the US?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
I want to change my daughters last name to my maiden name

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Commentary: ‘Orphan Black,’ Emmy snubs and questions of identity

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Contract dispute delays ‘Big Bang’ production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Lloyd’s film watching impresses 49ers teammates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Complete game shutout lifts Expos to State Tournament win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

SF benefits from Pirates’ blunder, ends skid at 6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Hammel fails again for Athletics in loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ray Guy’s long wait for Hall of Fame comes to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanford star Ty Montgomery rehabbing shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Greg Ives to crew chief Earnhardt in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene’s No. 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Fairfield-Suisun 6U Bobby Sox win titles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Usain Bolt in controversy at Commonwealth Games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Indians trade pitcher Masterson to Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
US judge slaps $1.3B fine on Bank of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Louise Scholten

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Ronald Witt Escue Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Scott Allen Shaver

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9