Mass confusion struck in droves, and baby turtles were scattered everywhere.
It was 9:30 pm in Topsail North Carolina and we were walking along the beach toward our beach rental home to hustle the kids into bed and watch as many episodes of Handmaids Tale as we could before becoming deliriously tired.
Ten minutes earlier, we had wandered passed two lines of people lounging in beach chairs. Some had beers in hand. All were chatting quietly.
On any other night, seeing people drinking and chatting on the beach would have been routine. But tonight, two extremely strange behaviors of this crowd caught my attention:
First, everyone was lined up the wrong way; not parallel with the water, but perpendicular to it. Two rows of people, arms width apart, beginning at the base of the dune and extending down into the ocean wash.
Second, there was a strange excitement in the air. The kind of excitement you might feel in the moments leading up to a surprise birthday party; the quiet anticipation of a big event.
Come to find out, we were about to witness just such an event.