Creature of the Day – Turtles!

Today we do our only boat dives while on Bonaire. We have spots booked with East Coast Divers, the only dive operator that dives the “wild side” (or east side) of the island. The reasons to dive the wild side are turtles and rays.

Our first dive is Fungi Reef, or the turtle highway. Lac Bay is a secluded bay where there is a ton of sea grass. The Green Turtles go into the bay at night and early morning to feed and then swim outside the bay, into the open water to sleep. They use Fungi Reef as the highway to get to the area where they like to sleep. As we make our way along the reef, we look for turtles, but we also look out into the blue for other sightings. We see a Spotted Eagle Ray glide past us way down deep. We see another large stingray on top of the reef.

We come across a sleeping turtle who has his head tucked deep into a hole. This guy is huge! Once back on the boat, we discover he is a Loggerhead Turtle. The turtle gets its name from the large head it has to support powerful jaws. They use these jaws to crush the shells of sea urchins and clams. They can weigh up to 400 pounds!

Loggerhead Turtle
Loggerhead Turtle

On the second dive, we go to The White Hole and then Turtle City. The White Hole was a cave that had the roof collapse, so now looks like a bowl. There is a group of tarpon (large, ugly silver fish) hanging out at the side of the bowl.

Green Turtle
Green Turtle

Turtle City is what we have come for. The depth here is a little shallower than the turtle highway so the turtles come here to sleep. I lose count of the number of Green Turtles we see. Most of them did not like the group of divers and headed to the surface when we approached. Took photos of any turtle that swam my way. They are such lovely creatures.

Green Turtle
Green Turtle

It was a great day boat diving and spending time with the turtles.

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