Monday, April 7, 2008

Turtles, Turtles & More Turtles

I was talking to Tami last week and she mentioned that I haven't had many turtle pictures on the blog recently, so I promised her that I would be on the look out for turtles on my dives this weekend and would put a bunch of turtle pictures up this morning. I did look for turtles pretty hard, but only managed to see one outside of the Grotto. So I decided to take a look through my smugmug site and pick out some of the better turtle shots to post here. This little Hawksbill turtle pictured above is one of my favorites. He lives at Lau Lau, and he and I have spent many hours together. He doesn't really take off when he sees me anymore, he's content to just sit there and eat and let me snap away with my camera. Hawksbill turtles have a very distinctive beak or mouth, it is larger and more pointed than the ones you will find on green sea turtles. They also have fewer of the black patches on the head and they are larger, there will be more of them and they are smaller on the green sea turtles. Here is a shot of the little Hawksbill as he slowly skims right above the tops of the coral. The other distinctive features of a Hawksbill are the jagged edges of the shell as it goes back to a point at the tail end, and the pattern on the shell is different as well. A green sea turtle tends to have a shinier shell, and each of the panels has a sunburst pattern on it.
This picture is of a green sea turtle outside of the Grotto just hanging in the water. It always amazes me just how the turtles are so agile and able to float, sink or whatever they want to do, they have perfect neutral buoyancy, something that many divers struggle trying to achieve.This green sea turtle was leaving the Grotto just as I was about to head out of hole #1 as well, so I went down below him and got some shots of him silhouetted with the sun shining down from behind him.
This turtle was just sitting on the bottom at Lau Lau when we found him, and he really wasn't in any hurry to go anywhere, he just let us come right up to him and get some great pictures. This is a green sea turtle, you can see that the markings on his head are smaller and there are more of them. The beak on the mouth is much smaller and rounded, and you can see a little bit of the sunburst pattern on the shell.\
We got to swim with this guy for quite a while, he was just doing slow circles and staying close to us. The navy guys who I took on this dive said it was their best dive ever, I don't think it's real hard to figure out why that may have been. I hope this took care of your turtle fix for the day Tami.


Tamara said...

Awesome, just Awesome!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!

Bharath said...

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Anonymous said...

I want to tell you something, that i never been to underwater. I don't know how to swim...really...Those photos are exellent...What type of camera that you are using?

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