Bajan Retreats' Turtle Encounter on the beach in Holetown, St James, Barbados


Contact: Irene or Peter



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We had just taken our seats at a beachfront table at Zaccios in Holetown when we spotted a large dark brown shape - dimly illuminated by the restaurant lights – crawling slowly out of the sea nearby:-

Much to the surprise and amazement of the other diners and staff there at the time, this soon revealed itself to be a Hawksbill Turtle:-

She lumbered slowly past the front of the restaurant:-


Then made her way back into the sea. However, within a matter of minutes she re-appeared from the sea and once again made her way up towards Zaccios. She clearly wanted to get underneath the restaurant's decking but could not do so as this had been blocked off some time ago. So eventually she decided to choose a spot to start digging - in the shade away from the restaurant’s lights - beside the restaurant's stacked sun-loungers.

She dug for well over an hour before starting to lay her eggs, during which time the restaurant staff called the Barbados Sea Turtle Project people who arrived armed with special red light torches, measuring devices, laptop computers etc.:-

The Turtle Project people collected the majority of the eggs in a cardboard box donated by the restaurant kitchen (while some people joked that they had half expected to see a frying pan come out of the kitchen to put the eggs in !) and took them away to the area around Six Men's Bay where they will, hopefully, hatch out after 60 days:-

Another hour passed and the restaurant staff were waiting to close up, but we all stayed on to make sure the turtle managed to cover the remaining eggs OK and make it back into the sea safely (without 'turning turtle' on the steep slope of sand piled up outside the restaurant !) Not surprisingly she was pretty exhausted by the whole process but, with some help from the restaurant's owner filling the sand back into the hole she had dug, with a few last swishes of her hind legs she satisfied herself that they were now safely covered, turned and tobogganed down the slope of sand back into the sea and off into the night !:-

A truly memorable and amazing experience that we were all so lucky to witness.

For those who are interested, the Turtle Project people have a web site: and holidaymakers can contact them and asked to be alerted to any releases of newly hatched turtles so that they can go along and witness this if they choose.    


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