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Bajan Boating: Doing It Turtle Style

The Silver Moon catamaran pulls up about 300m away from the coastline of Carlisle Bay. A thick sheet of cloud covers the late afternoon sky, not a single spot of blue sky in sight. As the catamaran halts, I am given a short safety brief by the attentive staff on board. This includes how to wear the snorkelling equipment safely, as well as what to do whenever in the unlikely event I am to encounter a shark.

With eager anticipation, I place on my goggles and snorkel while aweing over what I will be finding in the liquid blue beneath my feet. I am then ready to go under.

I step down towards the back of the catamaran and prepare myself to plunge into the deep blue water that surrounds me. After a few seconds of looking out at the great blue yonder, I then take a dive and soak myself in the crystal clear blue water. A chill immediately hits my body, but after swimming for no more than three minutes this chill disappears.

The tour guide then joins me in the water from the motionless catamaran, along with a bag of lifeless fish. This fish is the food source for the sea turtles who begin to swim up to me and the tour guide. With the dead fish in hand, he grabs a handful and releases them from his hand, wafting them in the direction of the sea turtles that pay us a visit.

Me and my fellow tourists observing the beauty of a swimming turtle

They swim their strokes as they munch on the dead fish that are provided for them by the tour guide. I reach out to stroke the rough shell of the sea turtle, and thus the true texture of the shell is revealed to me. It feels very rough, not a smooth patch anywhere to be found. I conclude it is best to not interfere too much with the sea turtles and their shells, they do after all wish to focus on the food that they consume.

The two turtles that swim up to the catamaran

After admiring these sea turtles for many a minute, I am instructed to say goodbye to these turtles and progress to our next stop, a shipwreck. As I cruise along to this next destination, I sample a Rum Punch, the bottles of which are stocked up in a plentiful amount. I also admire the view of Carlisle bay as I travel very slowly away from it.

I then arrive at our second stop where myself and the tour guide will be locating a shipwreck that is well known particularly to the Silver Moon catamaran company. after consuming another rum punch, I am prepared to reapply my snorkel and goggles to my face and prepare for another refreshing dip. I plunge into the beautiful blue water once again and use my goggles to keep an eye out for the shipwreck.

A handful of passing minutes and some patience reward me with the sight of the famous shipwreck that is described by Silver Moon as a hidden gem close by to Carlisle Bay. I instantly get the feeling of becoming a snorkel enthusiast who is keeping a close eye out for Atlantis. The wreck itself, according to the tour guide, has been around since the 19th century.

The shipwreck itself is big and bold, and certainly displays how decrepit two centuries of being underwater can make you. Fish flock to this shipwreck in their thousands, all eager to become the perfect guardian to ensure no intruders access the shipwreck; as if they would considering it is deep underwater. I visualise the colours of all kinds flashing past my eyes as the fish surround the shipwreck, the majority of which have a vast brightness about them.

The catamaran then makes its final call for me to clamber back on board for a relaxing cruise along the west coast of Barbados. With music playing and a Rum Punch in my hand, I relax knowing that I have just had close encounters with two sea turtles, a memory I will hold onto for life.

This little snorkelling adventure goes to show that the sea life around a shipwreck is extremely lively and bustling with thousands of fish going about their business. The outside of the ship acts as the wall to a secret village full of these fish, a village that scuba divers will enjoy to the highest level.

Silver Moon Excursion

My Bajan boating adventure was made possible thanks to the catamaran cruise company Silver Moon Barbados. Their elegant excursions range from lunch cruises to sunset cruises, where snorkelling opportunities are available on all cruises. The average cost for a place on a cruise is $159.50 BBD, or £63.20, and this includes a traditional Bajan buffet and unlimited alcohol.

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