Thursday, September 20, 2007

Swimming With Hawksbill Turtles

Sunday afternoon I went back to Lau Lau to see if my turtle buddies were hanging around waiting for me to come back. Sure enough just as I was getting to the spot that I had spent all the time with the little Hawksbill, he came swimming over to me from the side. I couldn't believe it, it was like he had just been waiting for me and was now ready to go on my dive with me. So instead of heading down the sand fingers, I headed north toward the golf course, with the little Hawksbill swimming along at my side. He wanted to stop and eat a few times along the way, so I would stop and wait for him, then we would continue on. We went through a bunch of swimthroughs together, he ducked down and showed me a few of his sleeping spots so I took some pictures of him in his various holes. But he would always come back out and keep following me.At one point he kind of perched himself on top of a piece of coral that was sticking up. He used his back flippers to steady himself and hang onto it. Occasionally he would wiggle around giving his flippers a good scratch on the coral. For a while I thought he was trying to show me one of his special underwater massage techniques, daring me to do the same. I was content just taking pictures of him doing it, although it did make me want to get a massage later on. After swimming and playing together for just under 90 minutes the little turtle was tired out and needed a nap. He went down into this little hole and tucked himself in for a rest. And that's where I left him. For the previous 90 minutes though I think I actually became a turtle and experienced what their life is like on a daily basis. If you want to see more of the pictures of the turtles from these dives you can go to my smugmug gallery and check out the Turtle gallery. I put together a few of the video clips I took from my time with these Hawksbill turtles so that you can also experience what it is like to become a Hawksbill turtle, I hope you enjoy it!

1 comment:

Brad said...

Harry, that sounds like a great experience. Most people have pet dogs, you seem to have pet turtle...or been adopted by one. Did you ever watch Grizzly Adams? Like Adams and Ben, Harry and the turtle.

Now that I'm here on Saipan my internet connection is so slow. The video keeps stopping to buffer and I have to watch the first few seconds again. I'll manage to make it through though.