Turtles hatching at Puka Beach

Carl and I had the extraordinary opportunity to see tiny sea turtles hatching when visiting Puka Shell Beach in Boracay Island in January 2012. Puka Beach is located about 15 minutes (by tricycle) from the White Beach. We paid PHP100 for the little cutie transport.

As we arrived the seashore, we noticed that the locals crowding the marked turtle nest due to hatch that morning. Carl was thrilled about what has happened.

The sand began to collapse around the nest and one by one, tiny sea turtles emerged from the nest. It was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives, and Carl said to me he will stop eating sea turtle eggs. (It was bad knowing my own ate turtle eggs before, and I am feeling sooo good when Carls said he will not eating it anymore).

After an adult female sea turtle nests, she returns to the sea, leaving her nest and the eggs within it to develop on their own. (Source: Baby Sea Turtles) After 45 to 70 days (depending on the species), the hatchings begin to pip, or break out of their eggs, using a small temporary tooth located on their snout called a caruncle.  Once out of their eggs, they will remain in the nest for a number of days.

The hatching begin their climb out of the nest in a coordinated effort.  Once near the surface, they will often remain there until the temperature of the sand cools, usually indicating nighttime, when they are less likely to be eaten by predators or overheat.  Once the baby turtles emerge from the nest, they use cues to find the water including the slope of the beach, the white crests of the waves, and the natural light of the ocean horizon.  

It's estimated that only 1 in 1,000 hatching will survive to sexual maturity (adulthood).
It was one of the reasons why Carl decided not to consume turtle eggs anymore. Plus, its critically endangered species. He only believed it after the staff of conservation centre told him about the facts repeatedly. 

In Sabah, we often have the opportunity to see sea turtles at marine life parks. One spot that is often associated with sea turtles is the Sanctuary for Marine Turtles in Sandakan. The Turtle Islands Park lies 40 km north of Sandakan.The park comprises three small islands, Selingan, Gulisan and Bakungan Kechil. It covers an area of 1,740 hectares which includes the surrounding reefs and seas. Two species of turtles - Greens and Hawksbills are special features of this park.

Two species of turtles - Greens and Hawksbills are special features of this park. Throughout the year, they come ashore at night to lay their eggs. Hatcheries exist on all three islands. Sea Turtles are not the only attraction of the islands.

While turtles can be easily viewed in captivity in the three island, Carl and I never has the opportunity to go there because of our limited annual leave- I guess we should spend more time visiting attractive tourism spots in our own place to appreciate what we have here compare to the other countries. Sigh~

If your family loves nature, pick any of attractive destinations in Sabah (we have islands and mountains) and you'll be likely to have the opportunity to make vivid vacation memories of your own.

But if you are visiting Boracay Island, please go to Puka Beach. Who knows you will be able to have the same experience like we had.

Those who like peace and quiet might want to skip the famous White Beach and instead head to Puka Beach. It's named for the Puka shells that can be found on the beach, so expect the sand to be coarser than that of its neighbors.

Puka is the second-longest beach in Boracay and also relatively empty most times, with no resorts on the sand and a limited number of restaurants. Only two restaurants I saw in Puka Beach, you can order hot or cold drinks and simple food from them. Carl and I ordered hot tea and fresh coconut-locally known as “buko” juice.

In 2011, CNN Travel announced Puka Beach as one of World's 50 best beach.

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Kit Cruz | properties in boracay said...

Unlike areas of Station 1, 2 and 3 in Boracay island Philippines, the Puka Beach is not riddled with bars, boracay beach hotels, stores and the likes. But surely, you will enjoy your stay here because of its beach.

LM the Traveler said...

Oh yes, I really enjoy my buko and the strong wind at Puka Beach.

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