It takes the keen eye of an experienced beach patroller to see a nesting leatherback in the dark, and typically you will only know a turtle has emerged by the deep rhythmic tracks embedded in the sand. With headlamps turned off, we walked in the dark near the waterline where the sand sometimes slightly firmer and easier to walk on. Higher up the beach is the nesting zone – a no walk zone. When a fresh track was identified, a beach patroller crept up slowly to the animal keeping a low profile while the rest of the team waited behind. Once the turtle starts to dig the nest, it goes into a trance of sorts and it becomes more approachable and less likely to be spooked. Filming infra red with the NX 70U is only effective at a 3-5 feet distance to the subject, so I had to go in close (turtle breath is not fresh). I have to admit, being up close to a leatherback is always an amazing experience and their nesting process is mesmerizing to watch. I feel privileged to have witnessed this incredible event and share my experiences through film.
Posted In: Cameras and Technology, Conservation Videos, Exploration, National Oceans Month, On Location
Tagged: Conservation, Indonesia, Jurassic Journey, leatherback, Leatherback sea turtle, Malaysia, Nesting Beaches, Papua, Sea Turtles, Solomon Islands