An arribada is a Spanish term meaning arrival. It is used to describe the mass nesting of thousands of turtles.
Above is a photograph of an arribada in Costa Rica.
Here along the East African Coast we tend to have one turtle nesting per night, that was till one evening last week.
Tim a volunteer here at Local Ocean Trust/Watamu Turtle Watch gives an account of the night:
In my second week volunteering for Watamu Turtle Watch, I was lucky enough to witness something quite rare. After being roused at around 11:30 pm, I went down to the beach with Fikiri and a fellow volunteer to check out a Green Turtle that had come to nest on the beach. Within a couple of minutes we ran into our first turtle tracks, but the turtle had run into some obstructions, and she did not lay any eggs.
No more than another 200 metres down the beach, we saw another turtle crawling into the ocean, and quickly located her nest. We felt the nest might not be far enough beyond the high tide line so we opted to move the eggs.
As we dug up the nest and found where the chamber of eggs were located, Philip, the night patrolman for WTW alerted us that just a short distance from where we were, another turtle was in the process of laying her eggs. We quickly went to see how she was doing, and were incredibly lucky to watch her lay here eggs one by one into her dug-out nest. I feel quite fortunate to have seen that.
The turtles were not done however. After trans-locating the first turtle’s eggs into a suitable spot, yet another nest was discovered, and the eggs were located. Finally as 4 am was approaching, and we were feeling very tired from a long night, a huge turtle was attempting to dig out her nest chamber. Unfortunately she did not find a suitable spot, and after some time returned to the ocean, having to wait until another night.
All in all, there were three nesting turtles, plus two false crawls that night, and all of this on a stretch of beach no wider than 500 metres.
NB: The photograph comes from another site and is not property of LOT:WTW if you wish us to take it down we will do so.