Clinging onto the boat for dear life, teetering over the edge, bum first, I attempted to lower myself into the water. I felt a foreign object brush my bum cheek and rub against my legs. I screamed like a girl. We were on a boat trip to swim with turtles but instead it appeared I had sat on one.
Luckily Sylvester, our driver and guide on this private trip for four, had bought a bucket full of fish to tempt the turtles back with. The Club Barbados, on the west coast of Barbados, within arm’s reach of the prestigious Sandy Lane, enjoys an enviable position close to where the local logger head turtles like to hang out. We had booked one of the daily speed boat tours that leaves from The Club’s compact slice of perfect beach and after only 10 minutes at sea had parked up to get a closer look at the hard backed heroes. Sylvester handed out the snorkelling equipment and began launching his fish haul overboard. Before long we were surrounded by the placid looking underwater creatures.
I had been fearless about this encounter with the turtles up until the point I sat on one. The turtle in question had swam off non-plussed but I was worried his larger looking friends with dinosaur resembling faces would come back to seek revenge. My friend, who is 21 weeks pregnant, had already disembarked the boat with ease and was finding my whole experience hysterical. She was off frolicking and stroking the rest of the the turtle clan and creating a moment we will tell the child to be born about for years to come.
I tried to be cool, I normally am quite confident with watery adventures, but each time I put my head under the water the turtles seemed larger and closer than they really were. Underwater I squealed like a strangled cat, which was projected overwater through my snorkel, much to the amusement of the rest of the group. This I repeated several times. Sylvester kept checking up on me but I was secretly loving it and not about to stop.
In our own time the group climbed back on board one by one, completely enchanted (and me a little bit terrified) by the experience. The boat then took us to check out a shipwreck just off shore from the resort. A barge, which was deliberately sunk in the area over 10 years ago, is now the home to what I roughly counted to be 3 million and 56 thousand fish! Blues, greys and orange stripes; us girls who have dived in the Great Barrier Reef and Red Sea in Egypt both agreed this was the most fish we have ever swum with in our lives. And this time I wasn’t scared. Just amazed.
I’ve been at The Club Barbados since last Friday after I took over the blogathon baton from Abi King (wrestled more like, she wasn’t keen to leave!) Swimming with turtles was one of the first things I did here, and it may be the last too as I’m plucking up the courage to go again!