Although it is quite some time since i saw a turtle laying its eggs, just persevere and you may be fortunate enough to observe one. We walked quietly up and down the beach at midnight without success until the fourth night when we observed a huge leatherback turtle in the process of digging a hole with its two front flippers (legs?). Once the hole was deep enough, perhaps 3 feet, she reversed her position, stuck her backside over the hole and started laying approximately 100 eggs, then proceeded to cover the hole with sand. The turtle had tears in her eyes due to exhaustion or more likely being out of the water as it slowly crawled down the beach to swim off, probably never to see her offspring. This is an amazing natural site to see so make every effort to do so. I am told the turtles are disappearing now but the village is a nice place to stay for a few days anyway.
Rantau Abang was the "place" for Leatherback turtle sighting (my father's time). And he described that the turtles are as big as a car.
That's why when I grow up, turtle sighting is a must for me. But now the Leatherback is almost extinct & sighting is rare.
Here I'm, so eager to spot any turtle at all, small baby turtle also "jadi-lah".
Sands particle at Rantau Abang is bigger than any beach I ever visited. This sand is really hot & will definitely cause injury to you if you walk bare footed day time. Probably that is one reason why turtles select this stretch of beaches as nesting ground.
By night, you can see a lot of grow worms emitting** blue (may be green) tiny light on wet patches of the beach. It's a totally different experience as compare to other beaches.
Oh! The tiny crab!!! This crab actually spotted by my brother when it's holding one piece of tissue paper on its claw. No kidding!!!!
Bioluminescence is the phenomenon of organisms producing light with an energy-releasing chemical reaction. The light is biologically produced and is caused when a light-emitting molecule, called luciferin, is mixed with an enzyme, luciferase, in the presence of oxygen.
There are millions of microscopic algae in the surface waters of the ocean. Some of these algae (mostly one group called the Dinoflagellates) have the ability to emit light for a very brief amount of time (0.1 to 0.5 seconds). They emit light when agitated, which is why you saw them where you stepped and where you splashed around. This is a mechanism that helps protect them from predators - because it reveals the predator to its predator.
Bioluminescence is actually quite common and almost all taxonomic groups of animals, and many plants, have some members that bioluminesce. Planktonic dinoflagellates and bacteria are some of the most abundant creators of this biological light and are what is usually responsible for the green glow in a boat's wake or when waves break on a beach.
Many bacteria actually luminesce because they want to be eaten. They advertise to potential prey hoping to find a comfy home inside a fish's gut.
Facts extracted from Oceanlink (Marine Sciences Education & Fun) page
Our trip is almost wasted, because no sighting 3 nights in the row. The fishery officer can actually sensed our disappointment & finally show us baby turtle that about to release to open water.
Mel, my brother & Doreen were still happily playing & taking photos of these baby turtles. They are definitely photogenic.
The conservation works had been carried out after years of over-harvest of turtle eggs by local many years back. It's a crime for harvesting eggs or not informing fishery officers even thought the turtles are nesting at your backyard.
Rantau Abang is famous for the shortness of the beach which goes into the ocean, as there is a huge drop of depth very quickly near the beach. This means that it becomes easier for the turtle to come ashore at night. Means less crawling on the beach, which is a difficult task for a turtle, and the laying of eggs often takes a few hours.
I received this mail from VTer Designerartgirl describes the uniqueness of Rantau Abang's terrain that make it ideal place for turtle to come ashore to lay eggs. She was working (July 1st - 30th September 2005) for a hatchery just up the road from Rantau Abang on a resort called Gemia Island which runs its own hatchery.
Thanks Designerartgirl for this valuable fact.
In my Terengganu page i mentioned that we had coconut for dinner that is actually just the half truth. The truth is, after 10pm (having unload baggage, shower, pitch the tents).... we suddenly feel hungry. So, i go search out the burner cube and we cook some Maggi instant noodles next to our tent.
Click on the 2nd picture to see our coconut pre-dinner.
The beach in front of Dahimah's Guest House. If you can wake up before the sunrise, walking across the bridge (easy) over to the beach from the guest house in the dark/just before twilight is fun. Of course you'll need a torch light. I was alone on this beach when I took this picture. There's fishermen on a boat out there not too far at sea too.
I came here to watch the Giant Leatherback turtle lay it's eggs and I wasn't disappointed!
We were not allowed to take photo's as this would possibly upset the mother, but we crowded around and watched her lay about 100 or so eggs before crawling back to the sea. A fantastic experience.
This beach is a turtle sanctuary and there are many traps where they place the eggs after the mother has left for a safer hatching.
Rantau Abang is one of only six places in the world visited by these turtles, from the months of May to September.
Then it got real hot. Not only you can bake in the sand, you'ld get cooked.