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What an incredible vacation Neil! The villa was more beautiful than the pictures could possibly show. We wanted to write and express our thanks for making the whole experience one to remember. You were so welcoming and your help with everything, from recommendations for the best chow to the most private tico (local) spots was priceless. Thank you for taking care of everything! We felt like kings for a week! Can't wait to return! Pura Vida Neil!

- Griffin and Stephanie, Washington D.C.

Property: Toucan Alley

Date of Stay: Nov 17 2012

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Griffin and Stephanie, Washington D.C.

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Sea turtles hatching on Dominical beach


Sea turtles hatching

Sometimes, when you least expect it, Mother Nature puts on a spectacular show.

I’ve always wanted to witness sea turtles hatching, but I’ve never been in the right place at the right time. There have been close calls and near misses and a few “you should’ve been here yesterday” quips, but so far, no dice.

Well, that all changed this week.

Early Wednesday morning, following a splendid surfing session, I walked back to my car to rinse off and get dressed. I typically park in the middle of Dominical beach, about 25 yards from a man-made turtle nesting enclosure that’s run by the good people at Asociacion Programas Sociales de Dominical. It’s a local organization that, among many other great things, buries and protects sea turtle eggs from birds, dogs and other potential predators.

As I reached my vehicle, there was movement on the ground outside of the enclosure – it’s basically a green mesh fenced-in area that’s about 20 feet wide, right on the beach – and I walked over to investigate. I quickly spotted a pair of baby Olive Ridley sea turtles trying to make their way toward the ocean, which was a few hundred yards away on the low tide.

How cool, I said.

When I walked to the mesh fence, I poked my head over the top and was amazed at what I saw. Between 50 and 75 baby turtles were furiously making their way out of two large holes in the sand. They were climbing over each other, under the fence, and before I knew it I was completely surrounded by miniature turtles, none of which were more than 5 inches in length and all probably weighing only a few ounces.

What was I supposed to do? Should I pick them up and move them? They certainly needed help, right? I don’t own a smartphone, so Google wasn’t an option. In the excitement of the moment, I realized it was time to purchase a smartphone, but to do so would be to admit my wife was right all along – you can’t operate in today’s society with a 90’s cellphone. My mind was drifting. I needed to focus on the baby turtles. This was my moment to shine.

I started by meticulously clearing paths through the thick beach wood, picking up and moving each stick like were Faberge, as to not injure the tiny turtles.

Then I saw a surfer exiting the water with a GoPro camera. I figured he could record this moment for all-time sake, so I waved him over. He was fired up, too, saying how cool the experience was. After that I flagged another friend over, and a few tourists joined us as well.

It wasn’t until a handful of locals showed up that we all realized we could just pick up the turtles and move them toward the ocean, rather than dig highways in the sand. But by that point it didn’t matter to us. We were just stoked to be in the right place at the right time while helping out and take pictures to last a lifetime!

And that’s pretty much how the story ends, with the people and turtles living happily ever after.

In conclusion, here’s something to keep in mind: If you’re fortunate enough to visit southern Pacific Costa Rica and stay at one of our Dominical rental homes, safely pack a camera (or smartphone) when you go out for the day because magic tends to happen when you least expect it where the jungle meets the sea.

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