If you told me that one day, I’d be swimming side by side with sea turtles my answer would be, “Yeah, right.” I was never the adventurous type. To be honest, my adventures primarily included great food, drinks, lots of shopping and historic tours, but definitely not snorkeling in the waters off tropical islands (the last time I had snorkeled I was a teenager and a bit more willing to try new things, and that was only one time.) But, as I have tried to step out of my comfort zone more and more, I have become more opened to trying new things. And, each trip that I have taken over the years, has allowed me to take that risk. Barbados was no different.
When we arrived in Barbados, the first thing my friends and I did after we checked into our room at the Southern Palms Resort was to jump into the beautiful Caribbean Sea, and we did. Since the day I had booked my trip, I was looking forward to the day when I would walk on beautiful white beaches and jump in the Caribbean sea. Little did I know what was awaiting for us.
The water was lukewarm (just like bath water), clear and very blue. We sat in the water and played in the waves until we heard a woman yell out to us.
“What did she say?” my friend, Sri asked.
“Look behind you!” she yelled. “You are swimming with sea turtles.” We turned around with excitement in search of the sea turtles, and there they were, swimming in front of us–three of them to be exact. The tide rolled in, the waves grew larger, but the turtles remained on track. And, we began to swim towards them.
“I want to pet them,” Kathy yelled. But, by the time, we looked back, they were gone. And, though you would think that was the last experience we would have with sea turtles, it was wasn’t.
A couple of days later, we took a catamaran around the island. The day tour consisted of several stops in bays surrounding the island. On our second stop, we were all asked to stick on our snorkeling gear and get into the water. As I made my way through the water, I felt something brush against me. It felt hard and rough, yet soft. As I looked up, I saw a beautiful sea turtle swimming next to me, and another one swimming towards the top of the water. They were so beautiful. They seemed so happy; so serene and so content in their underwater world. I couldn’t imagine disturbing their world, their life.
For a girl, like me, who tended not to adventure out of her comfort zone, swimming with these turtles was one of the most life altering experiences of my life. I will never forget it!