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A View From The Shore

Jillann Gildea
Jillann Gildea

There are many things to love about Flagler County!  I try from time to time to try new things and I am usually pleasantly surprised. It was recently no different on my morning walk on The Hammock Beach. Today I choose this beach and I’ll tell you about that in a minute, however, many days I choose Flagler Beach because of its proximity to downtown. I love to take my walk down the beach and pop into High Tide Snack Jack’s right about lunch and have some of the most delicious and freshest spiced shrimp in town. Other days I choose the beach up at Marineland and drop by Washington Oaks State Park and sit on the benches overlooking the Matanzas River to view the gardens and the wildlife.

Ok now let’s get back to Hammock Beach!

My walk this morning was filled with adventure. I strolled by a turtle nest only to see a turtle struggling to turn himself over, he tried and tried and it didn’t seem like he was going to make it. I took my head away for a moment to read the warning sign which clearly stated penalty and jail time for disturbing a turtle nest. My heart was racing and I was thinking why didn’t I have the “turtle patrol” on my cell phone. It seemed like so much time had passed by when suddenly it happened. The turtle rolled himself over and began to climb up the long steep hill out of the nest. Things were going good and then his little legs got tangled in the sea grass. He twisted and turned and couldn’t free himself. I looked around, isn’t there anybody on this beach except me. This is the one time I didn’t appreciate the quiet beaches which I usually boast about. A few more minutes and he'll be free. Finally free, upwards and outwards, moving inch by inch toward the ocean. Suddenly I’m seeing all the birds flying over head and visualizing him in the jaw of one of them screaming out to me HELP!!! This was like a live action animal plant show and I was part of the story, a helpless part of it!! Another step and then YES a wave lifted him off safely into the ocean.  

Now I just wonder; will he be one of the 5% of sea turtles that survive and return to the same beach each year. Will he recognize me next year if he sees me?  

Ok maybe that’s a bit much, maybe you don’t see it like I do.  

After all, it’s just my view from the shore!