Watching a turtle lays eggs

My kids love the beach (just like most kids, I suppose). They love getting themselves wet and sandy. And they love the swimming pools in the hotels. They could just spend the whole day at the beach and the swimming pool and not go anywhere else for the holiday.

As it was their birthday 2 weeks ago (one in mid June and another in end June), I asked them whether they wanted a party or a trip to the beach. Naturally, they chose the beach. I was thinking of which beach to bring them to when a friend told me that they just returned from a trip to Cherating where they watched turtles laid eggs on the beach.

So I thought it would be a great idea for us to go to Cherating too. It would be a great experience for the kids to watch the turtles. In fact, even I have not seen turtles lay eggs before!

We set off on a Friday evening, which was coincidentally Report Card Day. So we went to Ethan’s school to meet with his teacher and get his Report Card and then went to pick Isabel up from the babysitter’s place. By the time we set off, it was around 5.30pm. By the time we reached Cherating, it was already after 9pm.

We stayed in the same hotel that my friend and her family stayed in – Legend Cherating. It was a really old hotel and Daddy didn’t like it too much. It reeked of old wooden furniture, he said. Well, at least they had a big pool and clean beach.

Turtle-watching was on Saturday night so the kids got to play at the beach and pool the whole day when they woke up the next morning. We had a break from the scorching sun and drove all the way to Kuantan town for lunch. It was back to the pool again after that.

We called a man called Pah Su earlier to book our space for the turtle-watching session that night. We drove about 20 minutes over to Terengganu to a beach called Pantai Mak Nik. It cost us RM30 per adult and RM15 per child.

There were around 100 people there already when we reached, all eager to see how turtles lay egg. After a quick briefing, we followed the guide down to the dark beach. No torch lights were allowed as it may scare the turtles away. We walked quite a distance along the sandy beach to a location where a turtle has been sighted.

The turtle was slowly digging a hole near the trees to lay her eggs. We had to wait for her to be ready. Ethan and Isabel were dressed in long pants to avoid mosquito bites on their legs. The weather has been so hot for the past few weeks so I left my long pants at home. I know I was risking getting bitten by mosquitoes but it was so much better than getting so hot at the beach. Well, no one got bitten by mosquitoes, not even Daddy who was also wearing short pants. Unfortunately, I got more than 10 bites from the sand flies. It was funny how I was the only one who got bitten.

Anyway, after about half an hour sitting down at the dark beach, we we delighted when the turtle was ready to lay her eggs. The whole lot of us were divided into groups of 10 each and took turns to see the turtle laying her eggs. There was only turtle that came up to the beach that night compared to 16 turtles that came up 3 days ago.

After the turtle was done (she laid 153 eggs!) and was covering up the hole, everyone went down near to the sea side to release the tiny baby turtles that had hatched that morning. The guide told us that only 1 out of 1,000 baby turtles will survive to become adults. So Ethan whispered to his turtle to take care of itself.

It was such a wonderful experience for the kids to watch how the turtles lay eggs and learn more about these endangered animal.

Having a closer look at the baby turtles before releasing them back to the sea later





The baby turtles that hatched in the morning











And of course, it was another session at the swimming pool the next morning before we went home. I was so proud of Ethan as he learned how to float and kick all by himself that morning! Hopefully, I can send him for proper swimming lessons soon!






Overall, it was a great trip. We will definitely return to Cherating even though I don’t think we will be returning to the same hotel.


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