One of the fun things about La Cruz is the constant stream of activities available to cruisers through the marina. Masterminding all of this is the indefatigable Catrina. She runs the La Cruz Kids Club for cruising kids, with activities that are fun for the kids but also are community based, with a focus on Manos de Amor, a local orphanage. She organizes regular trash pick ups around the marina and trash regattas (kids build boats out of the trash they’ve found and then race them). She organizes the movie nights, sets up seminars for cruisers, and has regular speakers come from organizations like Ecobac and Sea Shepherd. Occasionally she puts together field trips. Turtle Camp was one we got to attend. It was so popular with cruisers, she had to hire a bus to take us all.
Bahía de Banderas is known for it’s whale watching opportunities, but its beaches have also been where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. A section of the beach at Boca de Tomates is one of the sites that hasn’t yet been developed and is still open to turtles.
Turtle Camp volunteers scout the beach during egg laying season and the eggs are then carefully relocated to the nursery area where they are kept safe from predators. The size of the nest and when it was found are noted on the tag. Our hatching of Olive Ridley turtles had just started hatching that day at noon. They were ready to release by the time we arrived. We began by learning about Olive Ridleys while we waited for sunset. They are smallest sea turtle and both the species itself and their breeding areas are officially considered endangered.