Mother Green Sea Turtle Visits Scandi Divers in Big La Laguna Beach

August 11, 2013 -- a mother green sea turtle came ashore and laid 135 of her eggs next to Scandi Divers front steps in Big La Laguna Beach, Puerto Galera. The eggs will hatch after about two months, when the baby turtles will dig themselves out and return to the sea.

green-sea-turtle
Green Sea Turtle in La Laguna Beach - Text and Photo courtesy by Scandi Divers


We undertook to transfer the eggs to a higher area down the beach at Cataquis Lodge, away from the danger of storm waves. The green sea turtle is an endangered species so we will closely monitor the hatching to ensure all the baby turtles make it safely to the ocean.

Green turtles almost always nest on the same beach used by their mothers, so we wish them all the best and hope to see this family of turtles returning for years to come.

seaturtle-egg
135 eggs of an endangered Green Sea Turtle - Text and Photo courtesy by Scandi Divers

-------------------------

FACTS ABOUT SEA TURTLES
Text from
Sea Turtle Conservancy

Sea turtles are generally solitary creatures that remain submerged for much of the time they are at sea, which makes them extremely difficult to study. They rarely interact with one another outside of courtship and mating. Ridleys, however, do come together in massive groups during nesting. But even when large numbers of turtles gather on feeding grounds or during migration, there is little behavioral exchange among individuals. Because of the difficulty in studying marine turtles in the open ocean, there are a great many things still unknown about their behavior. Decades of research, however, including observations at sea, have produced useful insights into daily activities and behaviors such as courtship, mating and nesting.

Beach Selection
Most females return faithfully to the same beach each time they are ready to nest. Not only do they appear on the same beach, they often emerge within a few hundred yards of where they last nested.

Nesting Behavior
Only the females nest, and it occurs most often at night. The female crawls out of the ocean, pausing frequently as if carefully scoping out her spot. Sometimes she will crawl out of the ocean, but for unknown reasons decide not to nest. This is a "false crawl," and it can happen naturally or be caused by artificial lighting or the presence of people on the beach. Most females nest at least twice during the nesting season, although individuals of some species may nest only once and others more than ten times. Sea turtles are generally slow and awkward on land, and nesting is exhausting work.

Constructing the Nest
The female turtle crawls to a dry part of the beach and begins to fling away loose sand with her flippers. She then constructs a "body pit" by digging with her flippers and rotating her body. After the body pit is complete, she digs an egg cavity using her cupped rear flippers as shovels. The egg cavity is shaped roughly like a tear drop and is usually tilted slightly.

Coral Species That Can Only Be Found in Puerto Galera

DID YOU KNOW?

Anacropora puertogallerae is a type of coral species that can only be found in Puerto Galera and can be seen in some of the dive sites, particularly in Coral Garden.

Coral Garden
is one of the most beautiful dive site in Puerto Galera, considered the best snorkeling in the area and a great dive for novices and photographers. The reef starts in very shallow water and gently slopes off to a maximum depth of 10m/33ft. Between the white sand and large coral outcrops, brain corals and giant plate corals are abundant, along with basket sponges and colorful soft corals.

coral-gardens
Coral Garden - Photo Courtesy of © Action Divers


Almost every species of tropical fish can be seen here -- angelfish, pipefish, lizardfish, rock cods, anthias, damsels and gobies to name but a few.

Many small creatures such as nudibranchs and ribbon eels make it a fantastic site for underwater photography. Small whitetip reef sharks can be found sleeping in some of the small caves under large rock formations. Like most sites in Puerto Galera, it is a great drift dive at mid-tide.

Puerto Galera is indeed among the top diving destination in the Philippines and can be categorized as one of the most biologically diverse dive destination in the world.

Finding the True Nemo


DID YOU KNOW?
That the main character of
Finding Nemo are actually called false anemonefish. True anemonefish, Amphiprion percula, are nearly identical, but have subtle differences in shape and live in different habitats. Ironically, Finding Nemo, a movie about the anguish of a captured clownfish, caused home-aquarium demand for them to triple.

anemone
Western clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) © Gunther Deichmann

Clown anemonefish are among the most recognizable of all reef-dwellers, they are bright orange with three distinctive white bars. They reach about 4.3 inches (11 centimeters) in length, and are named for the multicolored sea anemone in which they make their homes.

Clownfish perform an elaborate dance with an anemone before taking up residence, gently touching its tentacles with different parts of their bodies until they are acclimated to their host. A layer of mucus on the clownfish's skin makes it immune to the fish-eating anemone's lethal sting. In exchange for safety from predators and food scraps, the clownfish drives off intruders and preens its host, removing parasites.

There are 28 known species of anemonefish, most of which live in the shallow waters of the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the western Pacific. They are not found in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, or Atlantic Ocean.

Surprisingly, all clownfish are born male. They have the ability to switch their sex, but will do so only to become the dominant female of a group. The change is irreversible. The average life span of clownfish in the wild is between 6 to 10 years.

Dive Sites: Alma Jane Wreck

DID YOU KNOW?
Puerto Galera has some 40 prime dive sites for recreational and technical divers. These sites are between 5 to 40 meters in depth and water temperature is averaging between 26 - 29 Degrees Centigrade. Currents are common in the area and often brisk, creating conditions which may at times prove challenging for novice divers. But it is due to these currents that Puerto Galera is teaming with an healthy and plentiful marine life. But there are also more shallow and calmer no-current dive sites that are ideally suited for beginners and the visibility is usually ranging from 15-25 meters but can reach also to 30-35 meters.

The
M/V Alma Jane Wreck; a man-made dive site, located in Small La Laguna. This 30m steel hull and wooden filipino cargo vessel was sunk in March 2003 by the local dive community and has turned now after many years into a beautiful dive site, teaming with fish and other marine life. The Wreck is resting in 30m of water, a perfect training site for different dive courses such as Nitrox and Wreck-diving but also exceptional for some recreational dives. Here you find schools of sweetlips, batfish, jacks and snapper cruising around and many other exotic marine species hiding in the Wreck.

alma jane wreck
M/V Alma Jane Wreck - Photo Courtesy of © DiveVIP


Puerto Galera is highly recommended for underwater photographers, marine biologists and enthusiasts alike for its marine biodiversity with its varieties of soft corals, gorgonians, crinoids, colorful sponges and many other critters that are found on many of the dive sites in the area.

I sheer heaven for MACRO-PHOTOGRAPHERS, Puerto Galera has one of the best varieties of "NUDIBRANCHS" some species are found nowhere else, but even some of the house reefs located in front of many dive resorts offer an incredible amount of marine life.

Mindoro Island, the location of Puerto Galera has attracted many experts over the years studying the marine bio diversity, land animals and plant life on this island.

The University of the Philippines Marine Biological Station was set up in 1934 and in 1974, the
UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program International declared the area a research center and the reefs a marine reserve. The great ecological complexity and the abundant species have earned Puerto Galera a reputation as one the best dive destinations in the Philippines and Asia.