17 January 2011

On the Ledge of the Turtles

Just a bit South of the Pelican Grand and off the beach from Tower 20 is an area the size of a large room raised up with old staghorn coral. There are a few coral heads on it and around it. I call it the Ledge of Turtles because the first time I stumbled upon it, I saw six turtles there. Almost every time since that first time, when I am lucky enough to find it, I see turtles on the Ledge of Turtles. Today was no exception.

The visibility was poor. There was a mild wind from the SE and the sand was stirred up. There was some surf, but it was not difficult to get out. I left the beach just South of Tower 20, by the showers. I swam NE and swam right to the Ledge of Turtles. Under a small ledge, I saw the

two-barnacled Hawksbill we swam with this past Summer. She was resting, but got up when she heard my bubbles. I took a few pictures, but tried not to disturb her too much. I spotted a small school of Atlantic Spadefish off in the distance, so I swam to them for a couple of shots, and the Hawksbill followed me.

We had a leisurely swim back to the Ledge of Turtles and she settled back in under the ledge while I explored the rest of the Ledge, looking for eels and crabs. I did not find any, so I went back to see her and get a few more shots. Then I took off for the beach, taking care to get out of the water near the Pelican, where the lifeguards do not patrol. It was a terrific dive.

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