And now for a funny story about sea turtles. We saw two of them on our snorkel. The first one was at Hol Chan. He was extremely docile, and I’m not sure he even noticed us. We were able to get very close to him and he didn’t seem to care. The second sea turtle we saw was on a stop close to Shark Ray Alley where a fisherman was feeding some sting ray. This sea turtle was very territorial and definitely noticed us. He did NOT like us at all. We got in the water, and hadn’t been there two minutes when some of us, including Matt, noticed that the sea turtle was approaching Matt with much purpose in his swim. Matt barely got out of the way by floating horizontally to the top of the water. The turtle swam right under him and actually grazed his chest. We laughed incredulously, and while we were laughing, noticed that he had circled around and was coming at us again, this time straight at Matt and me. We quickly swam to either side of him to get out of his way. Afterward, I realized that maybe I should have looked for sting ray before dodging, but at the time, it was just a fast reaction. We laughed again, then noticed that he was circling around to charge us a THIRD time! Our snorkel guide noticed too, by this point, and hastily informed us it was time to move on! So we got back into the boat and went to Shark Ray Alley. But we can both now, as Matt puts it, cross “being charged by an angry sea turtle” off of our bucket lists!
And this is the territorial sea turtle, mid-charge!
And now on to Shark Ray Alley! Yes, we did see, pet, and hug sharks. But these are nurse sharks – kind of like big catfish. So all of you who consider yourself a child of “Jaws”, don’t worry. These animals are pretty harmless. They don’t have biting teeth, only chewing teeth. They feed on small fish and their mouth acts like a vacuum; they suck fish in, then chew them up and swallow them. We were warned by our guide not to put our hands too close to their mouths, not because we would lose them, but because we would basically get a hickey!! Haha! Unfortunately there were no good pictures of them, but we also saw baby sharks!! They were so cute and tiny, and they just followed the mama shark very closely.