Saturday 26 October 2013

Lady Elliot Island - Sea Turtles

We have skipped spring this year in Queensland and gone from a mild Winter into Summer.  The water temps in our local waters are fantastic!  My wet suit is packed away for another year; I spent a couple of hours in the water this morning surfing on the Sunshine Coast in a rashie and boardies.

Apparently the warmer weather and subsequent warmer water temps is messing with our Turtle population. According to an article about the turtle population on Lady Elliot Island, the turtles have arrived there in numbers and are mating earlier this year than normal.

I paddled out that way in 2010 and love the place.  Apart from the turtles, you have seasonal visits from Manta Rays and Whales as well as a myriad of different types of birds - though the smell is a bit overpowering in the breeding season.

The photos are from some of the turtles I came across snorkeling around Lady Elliot Island on that trip.

The smaller turtles were a lot more interactive than the larger turtles and would come over and swim around you, allowing for some close up underwater shots.

The following shot was taken of one stranded on a reef platform at low tide. It got itself off the reef on the next high tide so all was okay!

One of the unique things I came across was whilst snorkeling was turtle cleaning stations.  The following picture is a turtle parking on a bommie, letting some of the local fish come out and give it a clean - a symbiotic relationship of sorts where the turtles get a clean and the fish get a feed.

Just one of the amazing animals that we share the planet with!

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