My family and I are at Myrtle Beach for a week of beach fun. Early in the day, we went over to Ripley’s Aquarium to check out all the fish, sharks, rays and other assorted sea creatures they keep. While there, we saw a big sea turtle swimming gracefully through the tank and talked about how cool it would be to see one on the beach laying eggs, as this is the time of year for it. We figured it wouldn’t happen because they are supposed to come ashore only late at night and be gone well before dawn.
Later that night, we were just walking up from the pool when another member of the family came down saying that there was a turtle 50 yards from our house laying eggs. We all ran out to check it out. Sure enough, there was a large Loggerhead Sea Turtle digging a hole against the sand dune. A small crowd was gathering, but it thankfully didn’t disturb her too much, as she stayed there for a few hours digging and laying. The people were mostly pretty respectful of her and kept their distance. A few fired camera flashes (which you aren’t supposed to do) since it the sun was setting. I was happy to have my E-M5 with me, as I just bumped up the ISO to 1600 for the first shots, and then switched to even higher ISOs once the sun was gone and it was dark. The one picture of the turtle right as she’s about to get back in the water was shot at 45mm, 1/10 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25600. A bit blurry and noisy, but without an ISO that high, I never would have gotten the shot. Also, since I had the AF illuminator off, I had to manual focus in the dark, which was very difficult. Anyway, below are some of the pictures of the egg laying as well as the next morning a local turtle group came down to mark the nest.