Movie: The Long Journey Home

Today (23 May) is World Turtle Day. Usually, a day that would pass by as any other for me, as a Polar photographer, I don’t encounter turtles too often. However, during my last trip across the Atlantic Ocean, we saw several turtle swimming in the ocean. But one of the absolute highlights was our visit to the Green Turtles on the beach at Ascension Island. First, we visited the beach in the early night and saw some female turtles depositing eggs. A couple of hours later we returned in the hope to see hatchlings make their first journey to the ocean. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, but we had great views of several exhausted females returning to the water after a long night depositing eggs on the beach.

The Long Journey Home from Arjen Drost on Vimeo.

This female will come back a few more times this year to deposit more eggs and then she will go back to the open ocean and can make long migrations. About 50-70 days later these eggs will hatch, and the dangerous journey over the beach to the sea will start for these little turtles. Many of them will not make it and will be eaten by the patroling Ascension Frigatebirds. In the water, life isn’t much better. Many species predate on these small animals, and it is estimated that only 1% of all the turtles born will make it back to the beach to reproduce themselves.

Green Turtle coming ashore at night on Ascension Island



Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


  • Stunning video, Arjen. It’s all here: the love, hope, struggle, and beauty of life. And a little humor, too, with the credits, “Starring Green Turtle.” Thank you so much.


    • Thank you, Jet! I’m really happy with this one as well, but it’s always nice that others appreciate it as well.
      About the credits: when I don’t put the species name in, I often get questions what they’ve seen. So I always include them in the credits, so people know what they’re looking at.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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