to see the turtles

to see the turtles

[ Sept.2017 ] There are turtles in the sea around Zakynthos Island in Greece.

To join a tour to go and see them is one of the highlights in tourism on this island.

A car took us to the port in a village called Laganas from Zakynthos Town.

On the way as well as in this village, there were many hotels and shops for mass tourism and the atmosphere was similar to the cheap touristy places on Majorca in Spain I went long time ago, so we thought it was really good that we chose a hotel in Zakynthos Town not one of these hotels.

The boat waiting for us was a rather stylish glass boat with a big round windows and about 20 of us got on.

First, we went out to the sea where turtles were supposed to be.

We found one at the bottom of the sea and it stayed still.

The seabed was sand and there were no other fish around there.

Seeing from the window of the bottom of our boat, I thought this turtle was about 50 cm long, but apparently the average length of these turtles whose proper name is Caretta Caretta is 1.15 metres and some of the larger ones are as long as 2 metres.

We waited for this one to come up to the surface for breathing, but it did not move at all, so we gave up and the boat moved on to Keri Caves which is at the south end of the island.

There were some caves made by erosion like the Blue Caves at the north end and our boat went into one of them.

After that, as usual, the boat anchored and we swam.

I jumped in to the sea with the life jacket on again.

The sea here was emerald green.

After that, we called at Marathonisi Island where the turtles lay eggs and we had one hour free time.

The turtles come here in March to mate and lay eggs at the end of May and leave at the end of August.

60 – 70% of the eggs hatch after 40 – 60 days and little turtles of about 5 cm long crawl to the sea.

The ones which reach the sea will not come back until when they become adult to lay eggs, and when they come back, they go to the exactly the same beach where they were born.

But only one in one thousand of them will reach full maturity apparently.

It was end of September when we were there so there were no turtles, but inside of this small island was closed and we could not go in.

We spent our time enjoying bathing in the clear water.

On the way back from this island, we went back to the area where we could see the turtles and this time we found two swimming together.

And finally they came up to the surface to breathe.

When I see them, I could see that they were really big, at least one metre long.

Unfortunately there were so many large people on our boat and I could only see them through the gaps of them, so I could not take any photos of the turtles.

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