Some of my favorite vacations include snorkeling with sea turtles.
My first time snorkeling in Hawaii was with a big boat tourist outfit, and my husband thought I was losing my mind. I was frantically swimming around, so incredibly elated, seeing turtles in the distance and dashing off to get a better look. I’d pop up out of the water and breathlessly call to him that there are “turtles, this way!” and race off to follow them (always keeping the recommended distance, of course!). It was incredible to see these magnificent, beautiful creatures in nature swimming and eating and it was a fantastic snorkeling trip.
"turtles, this way!"
But the second time seeing turtles in Hawaii was a completely different experience. I was on a vacation with a friend and there was wonderful coral snorkeling just off the beach at the resort. Each day, I’d pull on my fins and goggles and head out to just float around and watch the bustling critters that are just out of site from the beach below the waves. And that’s when I really learned to snorkel with turtles. I realized my splashing around was the complete opposite of appreciating how a turtle is in nature.
"With effortless grace it glided passed me, glancing my way,
but without any change in his direction "
Floating there, probably worrying the lifeguards on the beach with my motionless drifting, I saw it. Gliding out of the darkness in the distance, the graceful creature was slipping through the deep blue straight at me. Soundless under the rippling waves above my head, only hearing my steady breathing through the snorkel. With effortless grace, it glided passed me, glancing my way but without any change in his direction. And off he went, back into the darkness on the other side, swimming purposefully and swiftly, but with an ease and grace that we should all envy.
That day changed how I snorkel. I try not to scout out the animals, but let them come past me, in their own time at their own pace. And to appreciate their life they’re living in this deep underwater home.