Published: February 21st 2012
February 20th 2012
Well we are holed up at Lighthouse Caravan Park in Burnett Heads about 15km's from Bundaberg enjoying some Summer weather. We have a beaut location at the bottom of the park overlooking the marina and an oval next door. Weather has been in the high twenties but with a nice breeze off the ocean which keeps things bearable! The breeze has continued into the night which has been a bonus.
The trip up was eventful with the new bike carrier mount giving way and us having to move them to the roof rack and lash them to the top of the camper. However, it's getting fixed as I write at a little engineering shop in Bundaberrg; apparently my welding is not as good as I thought it was!
There is heaps to do around this area and we have plans to visit a cooperage and glass blower, the Bundaberg Ginger Beer factory, as well as a trip out to mysterious craters? There is also the renowned Hinkler Aviation Museum, which I in particular am looking forward too. The beach is about 1.5kms from our park, which is just a short bike ride and the water is delightful, not very
crowded and a lovely 25 degrees. We have thoroughly enjoyed every dip so far.
Sunday afternoon, Will's birthday, we ventured further afield to explore the area and ended up at Mon Repos beach where we are booked to look for turtles on Wednesday evening. After enjoying a swim we decided to walk the kilometer or so up the beach, about two thirds of the way along we were beckoned up to the dunes by some people. It turns out they were conservationists working with the turtle centre and they had a nest with 20 or so baby turtles they were about to release into the water. There were was about 10 people on the beach and so we got a fantastic opportunity to be a part of this act of conservation.
The event, though breathtaking, is bittersweet when you understand the survival rate of baby loggerheads is about 1 in 1000, so the chances are pretty high that none of the little fellas we helped were going to make it through alive. Nevertheless the journey they embark on is mammoth! These tiny, 4cm creatures crack themselves out of an egg that is buried about 60cm under the sand
on the dunes just past the high water mark. They dig themselves up through the sand and then head the 30 - 50 meters towards the sea, usually this is at night as the mortality rate is less, sometimes as they reach the waves they are pushed back up the beach and have to start all over again. Once in the water they swim for approximately seven days, perpendicular to the waves until they reach the East Australia current: All the while running the gauntlet of a host of predators in the sea and in the air!
After they reach the current they swim with it down the East Coast of Australia and across the Northern tip of New Zealand, then across the Pacific towards South America, up the West coast of South America and then back across the North Pacific till they come back to Mon Repos to breed; it is somewhere in the vicinity of 15 - 30 years to complete the journey. WOW! The survivors are true overcomers!
What a privilege to see these little guys and hopefully we get to enjoy it all again on Wednesday evening!
There are more photos below