Green Sea Turtle, Okinawa Japan

Subject

Green Sea Turtle

Location

Okinawa, Japan

Equipment

Canon Camera with dual ion strobes

Dive

15 meters (50 feet at depth) during a night dive

Green Sea turtles can move and move fast.  They look like they are slow but in the open water the turtle’s movement are effortless.  In Okinawa, Japan you will see them in areas where large areas of coral reefs meet, a drop off into the ocean.  Most of Okinawa is built on volcanic rock and coral reefs so you could say turtles could be anywhere.  You never know from dive to dive.  I think they feel comfortable on the reef but if they see something they don’t like, they can take off into the open ocean quickly.  Sometimes you could get lucky and swim right next to them.  I was on a dive in Okinawa where you would see 5 green sea turtles in a concentrate area in strong current the first 10 minutes and then nothing for 40 minutes.  You just never know sometimes.  This was a shore dive where you had to snorkel out above the reef before you dropped in.  The conditions and visibility were perfect.  The visibility was 80 feet underwater.  The coral acts as a natural filtration system to keep the water clarity, exceptional.   I was in a diving party of 5 when I came across this turtle.  I was lucky to swim with him.  Usually that many divers will deter a turtle from getting close to you.  This turtle was not a newborn but was not at full adult size yet.  It gave us, the divers, an edge to take advantage of his curiosity.   I was able to stay with him for only about 20 seconds and he had enough.  When you are in those moments, seconds feel like minutes and they stay with you long after the dive. 

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