With the moon rising over the ocean, at a midnight high tide on the longest day of the year, a mother sea turtle wades ashore. Looking to make a nest for her 200 eggs, she pulls herself up the beach, eager for a soft nesting place. It is time.
Maybe it was the distracting noises from late-night tourists on the beach. Or flood lights from the condos nearby. The dawn brings a stark, graphic sight. We see how she must have circled back twice, with her 3-foot-wide belly scraping the sand. Her tracks meander. We see the tracks leading back to the ocean.
"She never laid her eggs. See how her weight is the same at lower tide, still pulling a shallow groove in the sand," explains the Turtle Rescue lady as she tacks up a sign at the turtle's closest point to the dunes.
The sign reads, "False Crawl."