Sunday, February 24, 2013

a sea of turtles...


up for air

trying to get the shot

free to be


The "Wasn't Me" sailed slowly up the coast, the catamaran riding up and over each swell under a blistering sun. Thankful for the breeze, I sipped my rum & pineapple and watched the shoreline pass by. The boat eased in between two surf breaks and anchored, and a crew member doled out snorkelling gear while another was already in the water, using a bit of bread to lure a green sea turtle to the surface. I stayed on board and snapped my camera as AK bobbed in the turquoise sea, a fat turtle circling him and the rest of the group. Half an hour passed in the blink of an eye, and then we were off again, sailing back down the coast to another destination.

>>>I flashed back to the day before, an entirely different experience:

Our first full day in Barbados, an ease-into-it sort of day. We took the shuttle down to the beach, wandered the boardwalk to soak in the Caribbean view. We took a swim, laughing in the aquamarine waves as we played with the waterproof camera, ducking below in attempts to capture our underwater faces. All too soon we clambered out of the sea and wandered barefoot down the sand to meet AK's grandmother at her rental house right by the next beach over. I marvelled at the hordes of bananaquits flocking to the bowl of sugar hanging on the edge of the porch, and the large black hummingbird flitting in and out.

With our foursome swelled to five, we ambled back down past the beachside bar and onto the sand again. She suggested this beach might have turtles about, but we hardly dared to hope. Once again we slipped into the water, waves crashing over our feet as we waded out toward the reef barrier. A few others played just off the sand, but few ventured out as far as we. A few hundred metres out and the water was still only shoulder deep, a bigger swell lifting us up and off our feet every now and again. And then...there! I was the first to spot a dark head popping up between the ripples. And suddenly it was clear that although a few of the dark shapes visible through the clear water were indeed rocks, several others were moving, young turtles grazing the ocean bottom in this protected bay. I bounced up and down - or as near as one can do under the forces of the ocean - feeling giddy. AK started snorkelling, while his dad and I floated at the surface and tried to follow the turtles as they ate at the bottom and then came up for air at regular intervals. They seemed ambivalent to our presence, mostly continuing their routine. When they moved away concertedly we let them go, watching the dark shape in the clear sea float off towards the reef. The moment felt so special, like a personal experience for just our group. I felt welcomed in by these graceful swimmers, allowed a glimpse into their underwater world. I was reluctant to head in, but knew the two others would be eager to see the turtles too and someone needed to stay on shore with our gear. I sat in the sun, watching happy heads bobbing in the sea.

Finally, with the afternoon waning, we all reconvened on the beach. Feeling wholly welcomed to the Caribbean by one of its most incredible beasts, we enjoyed a fruity drink at the beachside bar, walked back to our home for the week, rinsed our salt-caked bodies, and got ready for dinner. Making plans for the week, we were already talking about another swim with the turtles...



Today is a quiet Sunday, our plans changed and now a peaceful day at home in the works. The wind is howling with purpose, but I might try for a walk before the rain sets in. What are you up to?

>>> Sarah Britton's life changing bread is resting on the stove before baking. Can't wait to try it.
>>> I also whipped up my full-of-additions (pumpkin seeds, coconut, raw cacao nibs) version of these raw peanut butter cookies.
>>> I may be back in the northern hemisphere, but apparently my mind is still thinking summer, as I contemplate a new pair of sandals.
>>> Need some art inspiration? Check out this amazing piece from Lisa. I'm awed.


leFiligree said...

i have to admit that bread does NOT look "tasty" (moist) to me but after reading the article, i totally want to try it. Thank you for all your great links!

this weekend i'm dealing with cat boxes and the "cat room" that went all wrong. ew, right?

david @ studio tuesday said...

Swimming with the turtles looks like a lot of fun!

Margie Oomen said...

what a magical experience you had. I would love that. If you have never tested out salt water sandals I would highly recommend them. The girls and I even swim in them, amazing for a leather sandal. I can't wait to get lilith a tiny pair for summer.