Went I went to Costa Rica, one of the events I was very lucky to witness was the hatching of baby sea turtles on Tortuguero Beach and watching them make the long crawl from their nest to the ocean. Tortuguero is the largest Atlantic nesting site of the endangered green turtle.
Green sea turtles nest from July to October. The mother turtle will crawl up the beach during the night to dig a nest in the sand with her hind flippers. She will lay from 100-200 eggs which are each about the size of a golf ball. These eggs will incubate and approximately 2 months later the baby turtles, or hatchlings, will emerge and head to the ocean.
We discovered this baby Atlantic sea turtle on the beach during an early morning walk. The hatchling was flipped over on it’s back and couldn’t right itself. We turned it over and let the turtle continue its struggle to reach the sea.
To make the above picture, I used a Nikon 80-400 AF VR lens with a tripod as a monopod. It was a struggle to get sharp pictures as I was shooting at 1/20 second and f/5.3. The movement of the turtle resulted in blurring but there was a rhythm where the turtle would flop it’s legs forward and then pause a moment before continuing thus allowing a sharp capture.
Here the hatchling finally reaches the sea: