Pulau Selingan Things to Do

  • Lizards patrolling the hatchery perimeter
    Lizards patrolling the hatchery...
    by DSwede
  • At Selingan beach
    At Selingan beach
    by Pieter11
  • A crab on the beach
    A crab on the beach
    by Pieter11

Most Recent Things to Do in Pulau Selingan

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    Laying eggs

    by sim1 Updated Jul 9, 2004

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    You are not allowed on the beach while the turtles are trying to crawl to the top. The presence of so many people might scare them away and the mother-to-be disappear into the sea again. So you will miss part of the 'turtle experience'. But this one moment is wonderful enough, seeing a big sea turtle lay eggs at night.
    One by one the eggs 'plop' out in an amazing fast speed. The turtle has dig a whole of about 40 cm deep with the hind flippers and starts laying the eggs.

    Green turtle laying eggs
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    • National/State Park
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    111 !

    by sim1 Updated Jul 9, 2004

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    The amazing number of 111 eggs is what this turtle has been laying! To give you an idea about their size an look, just imagine a ping-pong ball. While the turtle was laying her eggs, the ranger carefully took out all of them from the nest and put them on the side. From here they will be transported to the hatchery.

    The egg laying is done and the turtle has started to cover up her nest with sand by flapping her flippers. Time to watch out, because the sand is flying around while she is doing this. This is also the sign for all of us to leave her alone and return back to the main building. The beach is territory of the turtles again, the guests leave quietly, amazed, and a maybe also a bit sad as this wonderful moment is over.

    111 !
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    Turtle Time!

    by sim1 Updated Jul 9, 2004

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    21:25.... A Ranger opens the door to the restaurants and shouts "Turtle Time!!!"..... And it was instant chaos :-) Everyone jumped up from their chairs to get outside as soon as possible, it is turtle time! No shoes allowed in the restaurant, so around 40 pairs of shoes were waiting on the front porch. In the dark it is not an easy task to find your own shoes back, so the chaos was complete :-)
    But everyone was laughing, happy, and followed (= almost running) the Ranger onto the beach as quickly as we could. Ooooh, and when I got here I was so overwhelmed! I could sit really close to the turtle, a Green Turtle it was. And look at her, almost touch her. She was busy laying eggs, not taking any notice of everyone around her. I looked at her face, it looked tired from crawling up the beach and laying the eggs, I even imagined seeing a little teardrop in the corner of her eyes. I felt like I invaded her privacy here on her beach.... But oh, what a wonderful moment this was to see this beautiful creature.

    Green turtle
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    • National/State Park

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    Camera fee.... Shall I?

    by sim1 Updated Jul 9, 2004

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    If you want to take pictures of the turtles you have to pay a camera fee of 10 Ringgit. I was in doubt if I should do it or not as it is not guaranteed that you will get any (good) pictures. But I decided to give it a go anyway. Biggest problem : no flashlight allowed at any time and also the use of torches is off-limits when you are with the turtles. So in short: it's very dark outside, no light at all, so how can you take pictures?
    I just bet on my digital camera as it is rather light sensitive, and hoped for the best so I decided to pay the camera fee. And it worked out! The rangers did shine a little light with their torches on the turtle and the eggs with made some picture taking possible.

    Malaysian Ringgit
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    Turtles Daily Express

    by sim1 Updated Jul 9, 2004

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    It's dinner time, buffet style. I can't remember much about dinner, hahaha, I guess I was too much in anticipation about 'Turtle Time' :-) This sign on the wall didn't help much either I guess, telling how many turtles had been there the evening before. 12 nests in total, 956 eggs laid, and 800 cute little turtles released from the hatchery. First nesting time 9:30.... How late would it be for us?

    Turtles Daily Express
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    The life of a turtle

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    The life cycle of a turtle is not an easy one. Only a tiny percentage of them will survive and come back to these beaches to lay their eggs. But that takes a long time, as only after 30 - 50 years the female turtle starts breeding. When they do survive, they can become very old, anywhere from 40 to 70 years.

    Life cycle of a turtle

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    The waiting game begins

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    Now the evening is fallen, the waiting game begins....

    A quiet evening, the sea is calm, the sun is setting, the temperatures are so nice and tropical warm. It's after 6 o'clock and the beaches are off limit from now, it is the territory of the turtles, no people allowed. It is also the start of the waiting game..... the quietness before the 'storm'. Everyone is waiting for the time that the ranger will call 'Turtle Time Turtle Time!' The time that we can go out on the beach to see the turtles lay eggs. But when that is...... nobody can tell. It can be as early as 9 o'clock, but it can be around 4 o'clock in the morning too.....

    A beautiful quiet evening on Turtle Island

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    The Hatchery

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    Turtle Island Park is one of the most important turtle breeding spots in South East Asia and has been a turtle conservation area for over 30 years. There are two types of turtles that lay their eggs here: the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle. The area surrounding the islands are protected and form a safe haven for these turtles. And that is good, as these turtles always return to the same place to lay their eggs: their birthplace.

    Here is another nest in the hatchery: nest number 1810 and is from the 27th May 2004.

    The Hatchery

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    The hatchery

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    The one real witness that this IS a turtle island is the hatchery. Here is where the turtles eggs are moved too during the night, to keep them save for predators. Rows and rows of these nests are here, a good sign! The more nests, the better is goes with those beautiful turtles!

    The hatchery

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    Lazy on the beach? Or....

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    Back on Selingan Island! So what to do now? No turtles yet! They will show up after dark. Okay, lets go the beach! The beach isn't a huge area but it looks nice. Blue sea, nice sandy beach, yep this looks good! But it wasn't as good at all as it seemed to be!
    After only 10 seconds in the sand I jumped up again! Eeeeeeks! Sand flies... and lots, biting me all over! That's no fun! Oh well, no big loss, hahaha, I am not such a beach person anyway ;-))

    So instead of being lazy on the beach we decided to relax outside our room where we found a nice bench in the sun. Good conversation, nice drinks and great company.... this was not a bad thing at all :-)

    Lazy on the beach? Or���..

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    Sandy beaches, watchful eyes.....

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    We made another quick 'race' over the waters of the Sulu Sea as the boat brought us to another of the tiny Turtle Islands. Arriving at this tiny island we are confronted with the proximity of The Philippines. There is tight security on the island and the army keeps an eye out on whatever goes on on the waters and on the island.
    The territorial waters of The Philippines are only a few kilometres away, and I guess for our own safety it is good that they are here. But it didn't make me feel that 'comfortable', LOL. :-)) So this is not the best place to be to lay on the beach with all those 'watchful' eyes. But that is not why we are here; no time for the beach; it is snorkelling time!

    Sandy beaches, watchful eyes....
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    • Eco-Tourism
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    Going to Turtle Island Park

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    The lazy morning has come to an end. It's just after lunchtime and we are ready to leave Libaran Island to reach our new destination and adventure: Selingan Island! A quick boat ride of 20 minutes brought us to this tiny island in the Sulu Sea.
    Excited and curious we were on our way. Today, and especially this evening, it will be turtle time! If all goes well I will see a big sea turtle laying eggs on the beach. Not sure what to expect, but hopefully for what to see, we were on our way.....

    Selingan Island
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    Where is the view?

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    Okay.... walked all those stairs... got exhausted.... but, but, but, where is the view???? Hahaha, disappointed I sat down, nothing to see from here!!!!
    Really crazy it was, I should have noticed it of course when I was on the ground, but the trees surrounding the watchtower are much taller than the tower itself. No view, no nothing, hahaha, so why did they build this thing? And more important.... why did I take the effort to climb it??? :-))

    Watchtower

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    The Watchtower

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    After taking it easy for a while we decided to take a look at the only attraction on the island: the watchtower. It was only a few meters walk to get here, hahaha, as the island is so small. And then... up those stairs....

    The watchtower

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    What are these tracks???

    by sim1 Updated Jul 7, 2004

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    It made me wonder for a little while what these tracks in the sand were, and suddenly I realized it: the turtles! So fascinating to see, so weird to realize, so wonderful to know!

    Here I was walking on the beach seeing all these trails in the sand of the turtles in their attempt to crawl up the beach during night time. And it is not just one trail, they are all over the beach! I saw dozens of them on this little stretch of the beach. At the end of these trails, on top of the hill, there is a big hole, where the turtles have laid there eggs. This was the first sign for me that the turtles are really here.... wow, I got excited about tonight, would I really see a turtle tonight??

    Turtle tracks
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    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism

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