Friday, 25 April 2014


I've been trying for an hour now to upload the photos for the post I wrote this evening, but it's just not happening!! 

It's taking about 10 minutes for each individual photo, and I just can't stay up that long - I'm so tired from all this packing!!

Well, Facebook to the rescue! Because my photos uploaded to Facebook are compressed, if I download them from there then they upload here really quickly, so I thought I would show you some photos from there instead...

I recently read this really interesting blog post by Seattle Dredge of Seattle's Travels. It's all about sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica, and at the end she asks:

"Have you had any sea turtle experiences?"

Well I have!! 

I left her a brief comment about my own experiences:

"I've been lucky enough to see some turtle breeding program babies in Sri Lanka, and also to swim with wild turtles in the Galapagos! They are such amazing, graceful creatures, so beautiful. It is heart breaking to know how badly they suffer at the hands of ignorant or greedy people.

I wish there could be more respect for our planet and all of its living things..."

With this as inspiration and Facebook there to help me, here are some photos from these incredible experiences:

This first one is from snorkelling with wild sea turtles off the Galapagos Islands. I had never seen wild sea turtles before - although some species were occasionally spotted off the coast where I grew up, it was always the day before or the day after I was out on the water! 

When I spotted the first turtle in the water, I was so excited I couldn't help letting out a squeal of excitement, and I accidentally scared it off! 

Swimming with the turtles was such an incredible experience, and this was literally one of the very best - if not the best - days of my life. Sadly there are not more photos from when we were swimming with them in clearer water the following day, as those are the ones that got stolen along with the camera when we were back on the mainland :(

And these are the pictures from the Sri Lankan breeding centre. They had all ages there from eggs up to older turtles. I wasn't sure that the tanks were great for the larger turtles, as they didn't seem to have too much space. The plan with the centre is that the babies have somewhere safe to hatch and grow before being released, but there is (or at least was) no data about how effective this is. Of course the babies don't fall to predators in the centre, but who knows what the long-term effects will be from them starting life in captivity - maybe not learning skills they need in survival, plus the random and unpredictable effects that captivity has on animals. I hope that they go on to have great lives though!

Teeny tiny brand new babies

I don't know if it's great to handle the babies, but the people working there would kind of just put the turtles in your hands... They are so cute that it was hard to resist too!

A slightly older one - I can't remember why they still had turtles of this age - I was there nearly 3 years ago so I don't remember all the details.

This turtle was awesome. It swam up to me, so I stroked it. Then it just seemed to really enjoy it, and it adopted that position with head up and flippers back while I stroked it. Every time it drifted away, it made little kicks with its back flippers to get back to where I could stroke it again! The staff were really amused by this, and by the fact they couldn't tell who was enjoying it the most: the turtle or me!

Head up, flippers back, waiting for more attention :)

I think that this adult Olive Ridley turtle was in the centre as it had been injured by a boat. It was very keen to pop up and see who had come to visit.

 I hope you enjoyed these pictures, these really are such beautiful creatures :)


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