Baby turtles hatch and dash

Turtles hatch on Point Cartwright beach, bringing people out to watch as they made their way to the water.
Turtles hatch on Point Cartwright beach, bringing people out to watch as they made their way to the water. Nicola Brander

FOUR 10-year-old girlfriends have kept a sunset vigil on Kawana Beach for the past week – waiting, hoping and watching for a nest of turtle eggs to hatch.

They did the same last year but did not see anything.

On Tuesday night their patience was rewarded when 45 turtles slowly popped their heads out of the sand and made a dash for their new ocean home.

Mum, Lesley Bain, said the efforts of her daughter Kasani and friends, Samara Welbourne, Chelsea Short and Cariah Stanley, was completely worthwhile.

Not only was the experience “awesome” to the point where Ms Bain was running out of words to describe it, the girls learnt life lessons they could never hope to get from a book.

The extra bonus was instead of travelling to Bundaberg’s Mon Repos for the kowabunga turtle experience, they could watch it almost on their doorstep.

Ms Bain said the family had lived on the Coast for 25 years and had never before seen the hatchings.

“It was so amazing, even my 17-year-old son went and got some of his mates to watch it,” she said.

“The rangers were so helpful with children as they listened and answered their endless questions.”

Sunshine Coast council senior conservation project officer Julie O’Connor said almost half of the region’s 55 turtle nests had hatched already.

While the number of nests this year was down from last year’s 100, this had nothing to do with the weather and was a “natural fluctuation”.

The council did not advertise the turtle hatching as it was manned by volunteers over a large area, whereas Mon Repos had “more than 1000 nests within a short stretch of beach”.

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