The Sunrise, Sunset, and Loggerhead Turtles of Carolina Beach



It was late by the time I pulled into the parking lot of Atlantic Towers. As I shut off my car I could hear waves in the distance. Going for a walk on the beach was on my to-do list first thing.

About a half a mile down on my walk I noticed something strange. There was a family in front of me shining flashlights all around. The kids were screaming and playing. Which I found both annoying an humorous. As I saw flashes of light all around one of the lights hit a figure I couldn’t quite make out. It look like a small child wearing all brown with a body in a folded position. The closer I got I realized it certainly was not a human at all, but a loggerhead turtle coming out to lay her eggs. Unfortunately, the loud kids scared her off. She quickly flooded back into the ocean waves. I kept walking. Eventually I turned around.


There she was again. Slowly making her way up the shore. Surely this time she would go lay her eggs. I watched her with marvel. Never had I seen a turtle quite like her, unless you count when I watched Finding Nemo. Nature has a way of surprising you with its beauty. I never saw it coming. I watched her with in the darkness silently. Her finns moved so slowly in the sand. This was it. I was going to see her lay her eggs.

Then she stopped.

Turned around.

And headed back out into the ocean.IMG_5887.JPG

It must have not been time for her to lay her eggs just yet. I was so thankful that I was lucky enough to get a glance at one of these beautiful creatures. Once I finished my walk and headed back to the condo I desperately wanted to go down and wait. Seeing a turtle lay her eggs. Lifetime experience. But I knew that I probably shouldn’t disturb her. That maybe she turned around because I wasn’t as quiet as I thought.


The next day I woke up in the early morning, 5:30 am to be exact. The sun rises at 5:50. As the photographer I aspire to be I hoped to capture the sun’s awakening. I walked out of the condo still in my PJs with my camera in hand. While the sun was covered by the clouds, the stillness and loneliness of the early morning is refreshing. I was the only one of the beach. Not even the lifeguard had made it to his post yet. After a quick scan of the sanded beach I could tell there was no turtles nest. She must have just not been ready yet.IMG_0452.jpgIMG_0483.jpgIMG_0436-2.jpgIMG_0442.jpgIMG_0494.jpg

The beach is heavenly this time of year off the coasts of North Carolina. I can still hear the ocean from here.