One of the most magical family events in the Cayman Islands is celebrated during Pirates Week – the annual release of tiny turtles into the sea.
This once in a lifetime experience on Seven Mile Beach is popular with residents and visitors all ages.
Hatchling and yearling green sea turtles from Cayman Turtle Farm are released on the sand at Safehaven and allowed to make their way down the beach to the water and swim into the wild.
The youngsters are tagged so that if they return to the same beach to nest 20-25 years later, they can be identified.
While there is no charge to attend the event, members of the public can purchase a sponsorship certificate for releasing a turtle, priced at CI$200 for a hatchling, CI$1000 for a yearling and CI$3000 a yearling with a tracker which can be monitored online.
All the funds raised from the sponsorship certificates are put back into the Turtle Farm’s conservation programme.
Since the Turtle Farm opened in 1968, more than 30,000 baby turtles have been released, with around 50-100 expected to be set free this year.
The annual turtle release is held in the evening of West Bay Heritage Day during Pirate’s Week, this year falling on 16 November.