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Eye to Eye with A Turtle in the Wild

“Turtle Sightings Guaranteed!”
These days, I take promises of viewing exotic wildlife with more than a pinch of saltwater. Particularly endangered species. To find pandas I had to travel for days. To glimpse a tiger, I shivered morning and night under a blanket of frost. Photo of an endangered turtle underwater in the sea in Barbados

But to see turtles in Barbados? I only needed to hold my nose and leap from a gleaming white boat.

Armed with only a bikini and a snorkel, I was surrounded as these tiger-striped beauties closed in. And they weren’t shy. I gulp and choke on the seawater as my head drops below the surface and my throat burns, trying not to swim for fear of damaging them with my flailing limbs.

Then something extraordinary happened.

The romantic inside me believes they saw my struggle; the cynic says I was in the way. Whatever the reason, a  giant glided skyward from beneath me and kept on going until I was standing on its back, my head lifted into the air to breathe.

It seems that I was shy, not them, and I had to wonder who was viewing whom.

Photo of a turtle in Barbados staring into the camera

Turtle Safari


4 Responses to Eye to Eye with A Turtle in the Wild

  1. SarahT March 27, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    Lovely! I remember the first time I swam with the turtles – I’ve never been the same since! Thanks for reminding me of that moment.

    I love the photo of the turtle looking back at you through the lens!

  2. silverfootprint March 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    Definitely one of my favourite travel experiences. Where did you see them?

  3. Mary B. July 4, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    This is an exciting experience! I’ve tried snorkeling and diving once, it was an awesome experience and would love to do it again soon. Unfortunately, during my firsts I haven’t seen any turtle’s in the area, just a lot of fishes, beautiful fishes. So, I look forward to experience swimming with this pretty guy here soon just like you did, Abi.

    By the way, great blog! I just started traveling and I wish I could travel as much as you did, soon.

    • Abi July 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

      It’s a wonderful experience – I really hope you get to do it soon! Thank you for the compliments…