Walton County’s fi rst-ever documented leatherback sea turtle nest has hatched, and 23 babies have made their way safely to the Gulf of Mexico. After 79 days of close watch by the South Walton Turtle Watch Group, Walton County’s sea turtle nest No. 12, located in Seagrove just west of Seagrove Villas, came to life Oct. 6 following the day’s heavy rain. At 9:15 p.m., Turtle Watch Volunteer Joe Burton checked on the nest and found a tiny flipper coming out of the sand. After making several phone calls, Burton, fellow volunteer Sharon Maxwell, and 23 other spectators crowded around the nest as the baby sea turtles slowly emerged and crawled into the water. “A truly awesome sight,” Maxwell said.