Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Truly, they need an exclamation mark. Turtles are ancient, soulful creatures. They live to their ancient codes, laying thousands of eggs on beaches they choose instinctively. Spotts Beach is one of those special places and sometimes we mere humans are privileged enough to get up close and personal with these mysterious creatures. Jane and I had an adventure on Sunday, one I almost missed with my slight shortsightedness and fogged up mask.

We were snorkeling off Spotts when Jane saw a large turtle swimming near us. He was really big and had a small shark and another fish swimming with him. It was fantastic seeing him from below and alongside, not too close as this is his sanctuary. We watched a while, then he moved off. I'm not sure he was a he, he did look he like. As we came to the surface, all smiles and "did you see that!" with exclamation marks, we noticed other turtles too.

When we got out we sat and watched them swimming in the shallow water, grazing on the turtle grass and coming up for air now and again. We had company watching, two young boys watching with wonder, counting the different ones they could see. They were old hands at this and enjoyed pointing them out to us. I had packed my long lens, for just such an occasion so I headed down the jetty to get a photo. It took some time until one popped up for air.

It was a long shot. It was a magical day, less than 6 kilometers from my house turtles swim and they will soon nest on the same beach. One of my colleagues noticed my enthusiasm today and said she would pass my contact details on to those who protect the eggs and the hatchlings. Jane and I might get to work with them this nesting season, what a privilege that would be. 

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