Turtle Love

by Natalie Novak

turtle rising
It seemed like a normal day when I set up my equipment for the second dive. It was a little cloudy, and even rained between my dives. The dive center was a quiet place on this rainy day. However, I am glad I went on that second dive with my diver and my dad, because we had a very unique experience underwater.

We were sharing the boat with some other divers, but they had their own guide. My divers and I jumped out of the boat first. When we entered the water, we were all excited to begin our descent. And, as the three of us parachuted down to depth in slow motion, the glowing blue around us was a little dim on that cloudy day. Above us, I could see small circles forming and disappearing on the mirror-like surface of the water as it started to rain.

turtle rising
As the three of us drifted along the reef, I discovered a napping green turtle. I took a few pictures of my divers as they watched the turtle relax, then we left him to enjoy his sleepy time. We found another sleeping turtle about 10 minutes later.

Then, 20 minutes after the second turtle, I spotted a third green turtle ambling along the reef. As we got closer, we could see yet another smaller green turtle approaching. When the smaller male turtle reached the slow-moving female turtle in front of us, he tried to mount her and she threw him off. Then I started taking pictures as he followed her in a tight circle and tried again. After she threw him off a second time, he swam away from her and started up for air. On his way up, he stopped and checked us out as he hung in the water like a bird.

turtles chasing
I am especially happy that I had one of Blue Photo Akumal's cameras with me that day so that I could take these pictures. Individually, the pictures are nice, but if you watch them in order, you can see the mating dance that the turtles performed on this dive. I am sorry these pictures are not more clear, but they were taken from about 30 feet away, as we did not want to disturb the turtles. Sea turtles are endangered, and the last thing they need is for a rude photographer to interrupt their attempt to make little turtles! Always observe sea turtles without disturbing them.

turtles mating
Dive Tip

A rainy day can be a great day to scuba dive. If there is thunder and lightning, it is a good idea to get out of the water, and turbid water may force us to dive another day. On the other hand, if it is just cloudy and/or raining, underwater may be the most fun place to be! The beach or the Maya ruins may not be that much fun in the rain, but getting a little wet on the way to and from the dive site does not change much when you plan to spend most of your time underwater. If the air is chilly from the rain, then add a wet suit to help keep you warm and enjoy your rainy day ... underwater!

Dive with Natalie & Ivan