May 1st marks the beginning of a very exciting season in the Lowcountry. It is the official start of Atlantic Loggerhead sea turtle nesting season that runs until the end of October. Since about only 1 in 100 hatchlings makes it to the gulf stream, we take protecting the nests pretty seriously around here. During the season it’s lights out on the beach from 10pm to 6am, beach goers are asked to knock down sandcastles and fill in large holes, and only red flashlights are allowed. All these are measures to make sure mommas can find a safe place to nest and as many babies can find their way to the ocean as possible. Some fun facts about our Loggerheads: female Loggerheads will not return to land until they are ready to lay a nest (at approximately age 30), male Loggerheads never return to land. Also, the temperature of the next determines the sex of the babies. Eggs nesting at above 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit will be females, eggs nesting below that temperature will be males. In other words, “hot chick” and “cool dudes”. This year’s first nest on Hilton Head Island was spotted on “Cinco de Mayo”. Incubation period is about 60 days, so if you are on the beach in the early morning hours starting around the 4th of July and beyond, you might be lucky enough to see the babies “boiling” out of their nests…please just sit back and enjoy the sight, and don’t go near the hatchlings. For more information or ways you can be a part of the exciting season check out seaturtlepatrolhhi.com.