Monday, March 20, 2017

Green Sea Turtle

We recently took a Caribbean cruise which included a visit to Barbados. On Barbados we arranged with Silver Moon for a catamaran cruise which included some snorkling in Carlisle Bay, a natural bay near Bridgetown, the capital. 

While snorkling I encountered my first sea turtle, a green sea turtle. I actually saw two, but one left quickly and all but one of my photos are just of one of the turtles. 
The green sea turtle in the distance swam away and I didn't see it again. 
The green sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is not green on the outside, as the name implies, but has greenish colored fat found in a layer between the internal organs and shell. 

It has a short snout and unhooked beak and can't pull its head into its shell. The shell has color patterns that change over time. Young turtles have mostly black shells which turn dark brown to olive as they become juveniles. Adults are either all brown, spotted or marbled. 
The turtle was often surrounded by fish.

This fish almost seems attached to the turtle. 

These photos don't show much color, but do show more of the underside of the turtle. 
It was a major thrill for me to swim near the turtle and was a highlight of our Caribbean trip. I got an underwater camera for the trip and still have much to learn about underwater photography. I did learn that the closer the turtle was to the surface the more color shows up in the photo. For photos deeper under water, it is difficult to bring out the coloration even manipulating it with Lightroom. 
Here the turtle is backround for what I believe are needlefish, what the captain of the boat called garfish. 
There was a large southern stingray in the same vicinity and I got a few photos with both the green sea turtle and the stingray. 

A photo of my brother-in-law, Dave, touching the turtle. I did not get to touch the turtle myself, but enjoyed seeing Dave do so, one of my last photos before we had to get back on the catamaran. 


  1. It was wonderful to see an animal whose cousin is so awkward on land be so beautifully graceful in the water. Seeing one was like watching an underwater ballet.

  2. A memorable experience. I sure wish I'd had an underwater camera. You got some really good pictures.