At last a first green turtle emerges from the waves, and slowly begins its ascent up the beach. Everyone leaves the beach and moves further into the trees. All are silent. The turtle pulls hard with its flippers, and the shell gouges the sand. Its mouth is open as it breathes hard. Each push with its flippers is rewarded with only a few inches of forward progress and is impeded by a bow wave of gouged sand which will have to be climbed. Soon other turtles follow. They too struggle intently up the beach to dig holes with their flippers, to lay their hundreds of eggs, and to bury them in the sand.
Eventually, the turtles turn and push and slide and drag their way back to sea. They will not emerge for another year. The sea embraces and enfolds them. As soon as they reach the water, their full mobility is restored and they are swiftly gone. The male turtles remain behind in the sea, just beyond the shore, waiting patiently for their safe return. From The Dream Antilles.