German efficiency

by Luke, in Grenada
20th April, 2009

Dipping into the seas of the Carribean to swim with turtles was an incredible experience and we were very lucky to spend some quality time with JP and Clare from Lumbadive.

Who would have imagined I would get time on a WVS trip to go diving! It was lovely to see the turtles in their natural environment – swimming gracefully in the ocean depths rather than having been caught up in a net, dumped on the beach, flipped up on their backs and left to cook in the sun. A very sad ending for a 45 year old turtle.

As much as the islanders are nice, relaxed people, I will never agree with the base line level of cruelty with which they treat these beautiful animals. The hawksbill and leatherback turtles are critically endangered and registered as CITES 1 and despite it being part of the culture here, to hunt and kill these creatures, it is something that seems so ruthless and unnecessary.

Despite being one of the poorest countries in the Carribean, no one on the island seems to be short of food. Having said that, it’s not solely because of the islanders that these turtles are endangered – it is because the big fishing ships and the drift nets that round up more turtles in a day than the islanders take in a season, but every step counts on a long hard journey and it’s thanks to people like Dario and Wendy who are making a stand to try to turn things around, that the awareness is getting out there.

Adam and Nathan had never been diving before and JP took them into the sea to try it out – they both seemed to really enjoy it – fairly hardcore having your first dive in 20metres of water in the Caribbean sea! Adam, Clive and I also managed to get ourselves quite sunburnt on our backs from being perched on the edge of the boat for about an hour. The sun is phenomenally strong here and we are all sitting a bit tenderly this evening – with the exception of Marc who had already applied five layers of sunscreen on himself at 4.30am this morning just before he put his towel on the boat. German efficiency wins again. Back slapping has been forbidden – although I’m wary of Bruce Lee sneaking up on me at any time. He’s a slippery one for sure.

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