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Turtle Hatchlings on Biggie Island

Best Day On Expedition | Turtle Hatchings

Submitted By: Ann Chivers

Here is our first ‘BestDayOnExpedition’. It goes back to September 2000 on our first cruise with Coral Expeditions from Darwin to Broome. It was the first of the our ‘repeat offender’ cruises with the company.

We arrived in the morning at Bigge Island, all full of excitement to be going to view the famous Bradshaw Figures (Gwion Gwion) and the later Wadjina Art.

As we were making our way up the sandy beach, we were stopped in our tracks when Guest Lecturer Steve (from Charles Darwin Uni if I recall correctly) suddenly shouts out ‘TURTLE HATCHLINGS!”

Well, the Rock Art can wait but the little turtle hatchlings couldn’t! Steve identified them as flatback turtles. Best of all, he allowed us all to cradle one in our hands! He collected a number of the tiny hatchlings and took them back to the ‘Coral Princess’ where he carefully measured and tagged them.

To complete his work, he asked we guests to help him release them from the stern of the boat back into the sea. Have never forgotten that experience, and often wonder if these flatback turtles have made their way back to Bigge Island in the last 20 years to lay their eggs.

And Yes! We did see the remarkable Bradshaw and Wandjina rock art.

What a day! Two fantastic experiences on one day at the same island!

All our later journeys with Coral Expeditions have provided many memorable days but the first has a special place in our memories.

Laurie and Ann Chivers – Perth.

Turtle Hatchlings on Biggie Island 2 Scott Measuring Flatback Turtle Hatchlings Ann with a Flatback Turtle Hatchling

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