Thursday, October 01, 2015

"Ping Pong Balls" on the Beach

On Sunday, during a brief period of clear blue sky, we went to the beach. Just north of the "Lifeguard Beach" we spied about a dozen and a half "ping pong balls" washed up near the dunes.

Upon picking one up, of course, I quickly confirmed that they were leathery turtle eggs which had been washed out by our recent high tide. Not far away, lying in the sand, was one of the signs that had been erected to protect the nests from human interference.

Unfortunately, the turtle eggs were no longer viable. Most were squashed or dented, and saturated with seawater. However, according to Irene Nolan in the Island Free Press (August 5, 2015), "It's official -- sea turtle nesting on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore has set a record and the nests keep on coming. According to today's resources management report [August 5, 2015], 269 sea turtles have nested on the seashore -- 15 more than the record 254 set in 2013."

So, although the loss of this nest is unfortunate, the future of sea turtles is not so dim. 

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a reproduction of a 1960s booklet titled The Great Ocracoke Cat Hunt. You can read it here:


  1. Mother nature can deal out some cruel fate, sometimes, but as you said, the numbers are up, so overall things are good.

  2. Anonymous11:38 AM

    I love how they environmentalists are claiming the high nesting rates as a result of shutting down the beaches...never mind the fact that there are record nesting rates all up and down the east coast...

  3. Julie S.4:34 PM

    Heard about the mandatory evac. Hope you and the island fare well through the storm!!

  4. Anonymous3:40 PM

    environmentalists need to be gathered up in a big net and given to the commercial fisherman to do with as they wish....................enough said.