It’s an otherworldly experience – swimming with sea turtles! Turtles are among a few ancient species of marine and land animals that have managed to survive. In fact, different species have been in existence for more than 150 million years.
For many, the mere thought of swimming with these ancient species in the open seas is enough to incite goosebumps. If you encounter sea turtles during one of our snorkeling excursions, remember to keep a distance when you see these beautiful creatures glide across the sea surface. Avoid any interference and the instinct to feed them. While turtles are shy creatures and will usually avoid any human contact, many of our guests are fortunate enough to witness their presence.
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Hawksbill turtles are beautiful. The colorful shells of the Hawksbill are quite striking. These creatures are often found in the tropical waters of the world, including the beaches and bays around the US Virgin Islands. The Hawksbill adult turtles reach 2 – 3 feet in length and weigh 100 – 200 pounds.
These sea turtles spend most of their time in coral reefs, shallow coastal areas, oceanic islands, mangroves, lagoons, and rocky areas. The Hawksbill has a narrow head and a sharp bird-like beak. The beak enables it to reach into crevices and cracks of the coral reef as they search for food. This species of turtle has a very specialized diet, with it’s favorite food being sea sponges.
In the U.S Atlantic territories, there are several different species of sea turtles. Green sea turtles are another common sight in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. You may also find Hawksbill in Texas and Florida, and at times these beautiful creatures have been found along the East Coast. In Florida, the Hawksbill lives in the reefs of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe Counties. Most sightings of these turtles involve juveniles and post-hatchlings. The small turtles often come from nesting beaches in Mexico.
Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Swimming with sea turtles is a real possibility when you choose Ocean Surfari – Reef Surfari Snorkel Excursions. Please book online or call us today.