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Swimming with turtles

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 14 December 2013 | Views [666]

Swimming with turtles

Swimming with turtles

We went out ona boat to Lady Musgrave Island on the outer Great Barrier Reef, this place is simply paradise with a sting up its sleeve. The reef encircles a coral island and large seawater lagoon, perfect for diving and snorkelling. The sands are pure white,the sky purest blue and the green trees fringe the shore. The shore where lurks the man-killing snail, an innocent looking cone seashell which harbours a carnivorous mollusc. If picked up, it launches a stinger to paralyse its unsuspecting prey, death follows and the snail then helps itself to a tasty meal - yuk! We stepped really carefully after finding this out! To the island itself come thousands of migrating birds, some from as far as Siberia, to nest in the trees in one of the few places here which has no snakes or other predators. But the same trees produce a sticky trap - seeds which fall to the ground like fluffy balls. Woe betide any bird which lands on them, it gets caught and trapped in the seed and eventually dies when it can't get free. Hundreds of dead birds were all around - the trees' way of getting nutrients in the otherwise barren coral ground. Back in the warm water of the lagoon, it was like returning to paradise as we swam with three greenback turtles, each about a metre long in the shell. Simply beautiful, they glide along through the water to their favourite cleaning spot where it waits for little fish to clean its shell and body before swimming off again, the turtle equivalent of going to the hairdressers. An incredible, magical and very special experience which I shall remember till the day I die.


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