Turtles… so beautiful and elegant. And since Finding Nemo, I am fairly certain everyone thinks of them as super chilled old “surfer dudes”.
I have been lucky enough to see lots of these fantastic creatures underwater, from the boat coming up for breath, and occasionally on the beach laying eggs.
Here are some of my favourite places to dive with sea turtles:
- Bunaken Marine Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. One finds mostly green turtles here, which can grow up to 1.5m length and over 150KG weight. Here we see them resting in wall crevices, bambling on top of the reef, or swimming in the blue. The diving in the area includes staggering walls full of bright corals, and some incredible critter hunting.
- Komodo Marine Park, Indonesia. Although there are many turtles around, Siaba Besar, known as Turtle City, offers an opportunity to see tens of these gentle creatures on the dive site. Here they are generally lying on the hard coral reef, or sleeping under a rock.
- Maratua Atoll, Kalimantan, Indonesia. Here there are mostly green turtles, many of which return to Sangalaki Island annually to lay their eggs at their own place of birth. The diving in the area includes manta rays, beautiful oral reefs and walls and lots of big pelagics.
- Apo Island, Philippines. This established marine sanctuary has amazing hard and soft corals, as well as bog schools of fish. Here divers may encounter large numbers of green and leatherback turtles.
- Raja Ampat, East Indonesia. Well known as the center of the coral triangle, and as the most bio-diverse marine region in the world, with stunning coral reefs and huge schools of fish, and also a large population of hawksbill turtles.