After yesterday’s dive on Juno Ledges I think the ocean was ready to prescribe a great picker upper for me. I won’t lie… The sight I saw yesterday was quite the downer, but mother ocean knew just how to fix that right up! How about 70+ feet of ocean blue water, 82 degrees water temperature, and a plethora of marine life encounters.
We began our dives on Bath & Tennis reef where we were engulfed in schools of fish. There seemed to be a turtle across every corner… as well as fishing line which I am happy to report I removed (gotta make sure our little turtle friends don’t get wrapped up in it!). A gorgeous nurse shark even popped its head out of a crevice to fade away my blues.
The fun was far from over! On our second dive we jumped in on the southern end of Breaker’s reef where the turtles were in even greater abundance. One of Larry Wood’s hawksbill sea turtle from his FLORIDA HAWKSBILLS RESEARCH & CONSERVATION project was burying its head in the reef looking for a sponge lunch. He didn’t much mind the divers who posed beside him for a photograph they would cherish.
Our friend, the Breaker’s lemon shark, who has been lurking around this reef for a couple of weeks now, was out on the sandy plains enjoying the great underwater conditions, too. To top it off, one particular loggerhead sea turtle took particular interest in me. After seeing the hard work loggerhead sea turtle go through in order to nest I have a new level of respect for them. I will not approach one if it is sleeping as I know how important that rest can be to them. One quick high flyover to make sure she is healthy and not covered in any awful fishing tackle is all they get.
If the loggerhead is on the move, as this one particular loggerhead was doing, then my encounter is a little different. I allow their curiosity to peak by staying still or swimming parallel with them for a while. Needless to say, the encounter, when warranted on the turtle’s behalf, is many times more enjoyable than watching them flee at a hundred miles an hour. Sure enough as the turtle turned and began to swim towards me the smile on my face grew. We stayed next to each other for over five minutes. My encounter with this particular loggerhead is one I will never forget. She felt so comfortable around me she even settled beside me and shut her eyes. That was my cue to leave… but with a huge smile on my face! The ocean is always the perfect prescription for the blues.
If you would like to purchase any of these underwater photographs, please contact Laz at TheLivingSea.com.