Terri (most often referred to in this blog as my FSIL--Fearless Sister-in-Law) and I watched the man wildly waving his arms at us. It was dark on the beach, but there was definitely something on the sand.
Was it a body?
And then we saw it. The mama sea turtle slowly made her way up the beach from the water.
We stepped back and watched her stop and dig her nest. It was like a dog digging a hole--sand was flying every which way.
Then she was still. Very still. In fact, she went into a type of trance in that nest as she began to lay her eggs.
The person from the preservation program on the beach kept careful watch each night after dark protecting the lumbering mothers and their nests.
As soon as mama turtle went into her trance, she wasn't bothered by people around her. She appeared to be completely unaware as the man scooped out bright white eggs, larger than golfballs--all 150 of them--and put them in a bucket.
He reburied them in a protected spot by the retaining wall.
She covered up her empty hole, rested for a few moments, then made her way back to the water, not even knowing that someone was protecting her babies in a turtle nursery up the beach.