This past summer I crossed off a bucket list item!!
Over the last twenty years we have visited the Texas coast at least 2-3 times a year but we have never been able to catch any of the famous turtle releases at Malaquite Beach , North Padre Island. This year was different, thanks to social media, planning a trip around the release days of the hatchlings was easy.
The turtles are typically released between the end of May through August. We headed to the coast the first weekend in August. We planned on staying three days and watched the website for daily announcements of the last release. Of course, we had some fun waiting.
This area is one of my favorite areas on the Texas coastline because it has so much to offer. There are never ending stretches of beautiful beaches, fishing, Corpus Christi is minutes away as is Port Aransas. So, head down and have fun waiting for the big event. My husband opted to fish with our son who drove down for the day, I opted to relax on the beach. Whatever you decided I have no doubt you will have fun.
While you wait for the big event be sure to take some time to enjoy the sunsets – they are spectacular. One great option is at Doc’s where the sunsets are of course free and the drinks cold. I do recommend this place for drinks and appetizers, but I was not impressed with the food. Snoopy’s next door is a great option for dinner or lunch – of course the sunsets there are also spectacular.
The Big Day..............
As I said we were hoping to catch the last release of the season and we were very fortunate that the hatchlings cooperated, and the release was scheduled the morning we were to head home.
We were up at 5 am to make sure we were on time at the meeting area. Visitors eagerly meet at the Visitors Center at Malaquite Beach. That morning there were literally hundreds of people waiting and I really felt that there was no way we would be able to see the turtles. As we waited in the darkness of the morning anticipation grew and finally as the sun began to peak over the horizon the crowd was led down to the beach where the release area had been prepared. It amazed me how kind and courteous the crowd was, everyone worked to make sure each person could see. As the tiny turtles were released gulls circled , volunteer held tightly to the nets protecting the small creatures. Seeing how tiny the turtles were and the stretch of beach they had to traverse was quite daunting. Volunteers worked hard with flags to scare the gulls as the tiny turtle trudged on through the sand. Rangers ensure that the crowd gets a close view of the turtles. This truly is a sight to see and if you are in Texas add this one to your bucket list !!!
Take some time if you can to explore the Visitors Center and walk on the beach- it is a truly beautiful area.
So start planning now - make that Bucket List and add a turtle trip to it - you wont regret it .This really is an amazing event and one worth waiting for !!!!
Exploring our world one trip at a time...............................