First Turtle Hatching of 2015

May 6, 2015

It was about six weeks ago that the beautiful Hawksbill sea turtle came onto our shore to lay her eggs. At that time, our resident “Turtle Expert” Mel declared, “the baby turtles will hatch around the 1st of May at 4 p.m.” He protected the area of the nest and recorded it on his schedule of due dates.
Sure enough, at approximately 4:10 p.m. on Friday May 1, our guests at the hotel were able to view the first turtle hatching of the season thanks to Mel and his accurate prediction!
We had quite a turnout of guests to glean the event, as most people had never before witnessed this and could not believe what a life changing event it is.
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Mel walked everyone through the entire process and some guests were even able to assist by washing off each baby turtle as they hatched and were in the process of finding their way out of the nest.
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This nest had only about 30 baby turtles that were able to venture out to sea; sometimes we can have up to 120-150 baby turtles, but this was a smaller nest. Mel was able to identify the turtles that were not yet ready to leave the nest, and he made sure they remained safely inside until they are ready.
There was one baby turtle who took the time to make the way slowly down the path cleared especially for them to find the sea through their intricately built sense of navigation that guides them to the water…finally the little one that could made it and everyone was thrilled.
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We would like to thank Mel Tennant who has spent tireless years working on The Oracabessa Turtle Bay Project and Sanctuary. He is working to ensure we have a protected fish sanctuary off the waters of Jamaica Inn so that we can ensure a rich ecosystem that includes rehabilitating coral reefs, and the protection of our marine life in general. It is also due to Mel’s ongoing passionate work with The Oracabessa Turtle Project, that we now see on this side of the island more than 100 nests and 16,000 recorded hatchlings per year!
If you are visiting Jamaica Inn this summer, you will more than likely be ensured to witness a turtle hatching experience – keep updated with all the news and dates of expected hatchlings this summer on the blog.
For more information please email Jeanine at and she will ensure you receive pictures, dates or any info on the above.


  1. Danielle

    Can someone please tell me how to get in contact with Mel. I am very interested in being a part of the releasing of the turtles.

    1. Jamaica Inn

      Hello Danielle,
      Nice to hear from you! Mel manages the Turtle Release Program at The Oracabessa Beach from Summer months to November. We also have a vibrant Turtle Release Experience at Jamaica Inn. Of course dependent on when the mama turtles come in to lay eggs, you can expect hatchings from July to October. We will be soon posting more about this. You can email Mel @ Please also email myself at for more information regarding our own Turtle Season!

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