I recently accompanied storm chaser Peggy Willenberg and her friends, experts on turtles, as they roamed the east central Florida beaches one evening looking for nesting sea turtles. Our target was the Floridana Beach area, north of Sebastian, a popular area for turtles. We saw perhaps ten that night, under the full moon – at least when it stopped raining. We went out in a light rain just after dark. White light and flash photography should not be used when observing turtles, so all of these photos were taken in almost complete darkness with only the help of the full moon. The shoot was incredibly challenging. A red light is OK, and one of my friends had one, but it was rarely used. So focusing was almost impossible. (Next time, I’ll bring a red light to assist with focus.) We saw a couple of turtles early in our search, and then, after a lull, saw several more until we stopped about 1:30 a.m.
There was something magical and primal about these beautiful creatures emerging from the ocean to do what they’ve done for thousands of years, and I did my best to capture the experience. See more photos below.
Note: This post has been updated with the gallery that originally appeared on SkyDiary.com.
Roll over each image to see the caption, or click on one to see a slide show with larger photos.