Thursday, July 24, 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

Artists with trowels transform highway wall

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
 
County court employees rally against cuts, furloughs

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Crews to begin Vacaville slurry seal street project

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

2nd candidate eyes Vacaville mayoral run

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Bertani schedules town hall meet

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

 
Vacaville police arrest fugitive Dezmon Frazier

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

 
 
Sesame Street USO tour visits Travis

By Staff Sgt. Christopher Carranza | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: July 21, 2013

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Fairfield police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: July 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Weather for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Lawsuit tests racial policy at California prisons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Lockdown lifted at Little Rock Air Force Base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Rick Perry’s contradiction

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Editorial Cartoons for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Good men lost due to Bergdahl

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Is Logue tripping over words?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Watch out for Bobby Jindal

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

I resent my husband for not defending me to his mother

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for July 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

CBS event marks civil rights anniversary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
4-day Comic Con festival kicks off in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Filmmaker Michael Moore’s divorce is finalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
CBS says Colbert keeping CBS’ ‘Late Show’ in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Pence drives in 3, Giants beat Phillies 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cespedes hits 2 HRs, A’s hold off Astros 9-7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Big innings fuels 16-1 Expos victory in Area 1 opener

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders start to arrive for start of camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Tight end Vernon Davis arrives at 49ers training camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Testimony ends in trial over $2B Clippers sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Playful Pole wins Tour stage, as Nibali marches on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
4 Cities to meet with USOC about 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Mavericks’ Felton pleads guilty in NYC gun case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles reach deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Seattle’s Sidney Rice announces his retirement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

GM issues 6 more safety recalls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

Mary Bell Scrivner Sanders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Arturo Montenegro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Joseph Ross Smith Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

.

Comics

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
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