There came a buzz thorough the campground.
"Turtle Launch! Turtle Launch!"
Not being from the area, I had to ask, "What all this about?"
Well, now and then they set sea turtles free on the beach at Padre Island.
I figured I'd go check it out.
What a mob!, By the time I got to the visitor centre there must have been 1000 people on the beach. I went with some friends I'd made at the campground including the delightful children of a wonderful travelling family I am fortunate to know. We made out way through the crowd and managed to find a spot about 8 people deep along the west side of the designated release zone. A swath of beach about 100 feet wide from the
dunes to the waters edge. People lined both sides 10 to 12 deep well into the surf.
Then we waited,....
I had the impression that at some point they'd release dozens of baby turtles and they'd scurry down the beach to the sea, just as nature intended.
But no scurrying today, about forty five minutes later a convoy of private volunteer trucks came down the beach, each carrying a kiddy pool with a couple of adult sea turtles.
Each turtle, hundreds of them, was carried to the surf by a volunteer and set off on its new life.
As each turtle came by flapping and writhing, eager to feel the ocean for the first time, I pondered the necessity of the hundred foot wide aisle.
But no matter, we watched a dozen or so get carried by and went back to camp for drinks.
There,...I've been to a turtle launch!