Turtle release choppy but cheerful

Twenty Cayman Turtle Farm yearlings made their way to freedom Wednesday afternoon amid rough waves and black skies during the 25th annual turtle release.

The shrewd staff of Boatswain’s Beach/Cayman Turtle Farm took note of the dark clouds gathering overhead around 4.30pm and decided to bring the release forward in the hope of beating the rain. Sure enough, just as all turtles had found their way into the ocean, the heavens opened in a torrential downpour and the crowds quickly dispersed by 5pm. As this was the original time for the release the revised timing proved to be just perfect.

The event saw a good crowd gathered at the public beach. Excitement mounted as the pick-up truck carrying the 20 yearling turtles pulled up, and, in a bid to fight the weather, the Turtle Farm’s staff set to quickly handing out the sea turtles to those selected to release them. The lucky volunteers had been selected in a draw earlier in the week.

Following some quick guidance on how to hold their new shell sporting friends, the volunteers made their way down the beach, although some had to scramble their way through the enthusiastic crowd to get to the shoreline.

Once placed on to the sand, the turtles started to trundle their way into the sea, but with rough waves it proved a little bit of a bumpy ride for some as they were scooped up by the water and carried backward toward the crowd on a wave and then had to again clamber forward towards their goal. But with plenty of encouragement from the crowd and the volunteer releasers, each turtle made its way out into the ocean and could be seen bobbing through the water further out.

The 20 turtles ventured off on their adventurous lives and will perhaps one day return to Grand Cayman to nest in the place where they found their freedom. Meanwhile, those on the beach were also getting wet in a driving deluge of rain, and bolted to take cover.