Weekly Gem #49, "SGF, Seeking Romantic Getaway on Tropical Island, Surf and Sandy Beaches Required"
Location: This 'hidden gem,' is located very near the "middle of nowhere," or to be more precise, at Long Beach on Ascension Island (see Clue Me! map ). At the risk of stating the obvious, "SGF" stands for Single Green Female (of the sea turtle persuasion). While most people in the U.S. were enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, a few thousand green sea turtles have been gorging on the sea grass and other vittles off the coast of Brazil, and are even now striking out for their romantic getaway.
The trip is certainly in the category of "adventure travel." A few thousand green sea turtles swim from Brazil to Ascension Island. The trip takes 6 weeks, covering over 30 miles per day (around 1300 miles all told). There is no food en route, and no place to rest.
Nobody knows how they find Ascension Island. If you look at the map, you'll see how distant and remote a destination they've chosen. But once there, it's all sand, surf, and moonlit nights on the beach.
Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.
An Ascension Island sandy beach on which a green turtle is laying eggs at night in a large hole she has dug.
Why It's Interesting
The turtles mostly live off the coast of Brazil, but when mature swim over 2000 km to Ascension Island to mate and then lay their eggs on this beach. The mating and egg laying generally takes place from December to February each year. The turtles weigh up to 250 kg, live to about age 80 and make the round trip every 3 or 4 years.