Turtle Love

by Bev Sanders on August 14, 2013

When people think of surfing, they usually think of standing up and gliding across a wave, but we know there’s more to it than that. Every surfer knows the key is paddle, paddle, and paddle some more.

Paddling is relatively easy to learn, but paddling through wave after wave to the calm waters beyond the break takes determination. And what fuels determination? A little inspiration.

That’s where the sea turtles lend some advice.

You may already know that our November Las Olas safaris are held during the annual sea turtle hatching season on mainland Mexico. But did you also know that we can participate in helping the local sea turtle population thrive?

In 1992, when Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde built their first marine nursery, a large scale protection of Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtle eggs began. 20 years later, the population increased from 200 to over 1000 nests. For over a decade, Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women has had the honor of teaming with Groupo Ecologico de la Costa Verde for our special Sea Turtle safaris. Groupo Ecologico and their supporters have been successful in saving the nearly extinct turtle population in the local area.

Weather and turtles permitting, we’ll meet Grupo after sunset to help release newborn sea turtles into the the surf for their first swim. We’ll witness the start of their amazing journey and their triumphant comeback along the shores of Mexico

We know that paddling can be frustrating at first, but the baby turtles put things in perspective. Knowing these newborns will swim thousands of miles in the open ocean makes our paddling seem… not so bad. When stuck inside the surfbreak, I think of baby turtles paddling like the dickens just to survive.

Las Olas is known for our complete surf instruction program. Whether we’re guiding a new surfer to her first wave or dropping in with a five-time alumna, we inspire guests to surf beyond what they think possible. We see the program as a whole life experience where inspiration is part of learning and baby turtles are part of the inspiration.

Bev Sanders is founder and president of Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women and editor-in-chief of Jennifer’s Journey, online travel portal for women adventurers. She started surfing at 44 continuing her lifelong pursuit of introducing women to sports.

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