In Week 10 of last Term forty-six Darwin High School students and four teachers took a trip to Bare Sand Island to explore the areas unique Eco system and conservation programs.
The group took a fast boat from Stokes Hill Wharf to Bare Sand Island where expert guides took them on a tour of the area.
Students had the privilege of witnessing adult turtles coming ashore, digging a nest and laying their eggs. Then they watched baby hatchlings emerge from existing nests and make their way to the ocean.
It was an amazing experience that taught me a great deal about beautiful sea turtles. It allowed me to learning about the ecosystem, circle of life and about the different sea turtle species, mainly the flatback turtles we saw on the night. Not only was it a fantastic educational experience, but a truly beautiful one.
It was an eye opening experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would go again if I get the chance. Turtles are fascinating animals who really persevere and overcome so many challenges from the time the eggs are laid to when they make it two the ocean.
I definitely learned a lot about turtles. It’s not something that I would have researched on my own, so it was pretty interesting to learn all about them. Aside from the turtles, it was just nice to go to Bare Sane Island, watch the sunset and stargaze.
I learnt on this trip how long the process of breeding, fertilisation, incubation and hatching really is. Especially with the chances of surviving only being 1/2000.
From the trip my most memorable experiences that I will cherish were, the peace and tranquillity of the island, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, the turtle laying its eggs, learning how the females could lay 5 times a year – each consisting of 50 eggs all at once. I also dug a hole and took out the shells and found a dead baby turtle. Also, saw unfertilised eggs. The trip was educational and beautiful.
It was an incredibly enjoyable experience, that opened my eyes up to the wonderful wildlife and beauty that surrounds the NT.
Turtles have the world against them, even before they hatch. Crabs burrow to eat the hatchlings, roots suck out all the moisture from the eggs and maggots eat awat at the shells and undeveloped turtles. Once they get out of their nest, they are attacked by birds and other predators and in the water waits the crocodile. Turtles like the number 50; they lay approximately 50 eggs per clutch, the eggs weight approximately 50g each and they hatch after approximately 50 days.
The trip was a fantastic opportunity for the students to experience a natural event they would not normally be able to access.