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Turtles, nature’s therapy

by Darren

Like everyone I know, I’m quite fond of seeing turtles when I dive.  It’s always a highlight, and it was no accident that my 200th dive a few days ago was one the Bonaire dive guide describes as “Divers enjoy this site, since turtles are nearly always seen.”

We did see a turtle on that dive, and it immediately had me grinning behind my regulator.  As did this hawksbill turtle we saw today on the house reef right in front of our hotel.

It was already a spectacular dive, with a patrolling barracuda in the shallows, a free swimming moray eel (very rare during the day), a parrotfish and trumpetfish that seemed inseperable and went everywhere together (a picture for a future post), and then this hawksbill turtle.

It was almost immediate after Louise spotted this friendly soul that it went up to breathe.  Turtles need to surface once every six hours, and I was fortunate a few years back to have one time this with my safety stop.  On this occasion I was only half way through my dive and didn’t want to surface so waited patiently for it to come back down.

Once the turtle had done the necessary I took a few pictures.  After a couple of minutes I thought it had probably had enough of me and swam away leaving it to feed.  But it didn’t stay eating the coral, it came with me, swimming alongside.  So we swam around together for a while and I took a few more.

It has me grinning when I see them, it has me grinning when I look at the pictures afterwards, and I know you’re grinning right now.  Turtles, nature’s therapy.  Guaranteed to raise a smile!

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