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Snorkeling with turtles in the Coco Bodu Hithi

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That day dawned with a wonderful sun that returned all the colors to the island. After breakfast very quietly at the hotel's Stars restaurant, we prepare for a new snorkeling session, although a little special as we would do snorkeling with turtles in the Coco Bodu Hithi accompanied by a Spanish marine biologist. Before we started, Sonia gathered us in the ping-pong room and the pool table and gave us some explanations about the turtles and sharks that we could see. He also told us about the two marine fauna projects in which the Coco Bodu Hithi hotel participates.

One consists simply of identify turtles and the stripe fish that are in the snorkeling sessions, in order to have a census. Another is the Olive Ridley Project, which tries to raise awareness and help in the problem of discarded fishing nets (more information at oliveridleyproject.org and mantatrust.org). Also, if you photograph a turtle or a line that has never been identified before, you can put the name you want.

Then we got on a hotel boat that took us to very close reefs: Turtle point and Shark point. In the first, we jumped into the water and swam over a shallow reef until we reached a very wide and deeper depression that looked like an underwater plaza. There were hundreds of fish here and there, in large or single banks. On this reef we saw four turtles at different times. It is a very relaxing sight to see them ascend quietly from the seabed to the surface to take a breath and then descend again, without hurry. The last one is found in an area of ​​very shallow depth, so we swam for a while with her. In the "square" we also discovered a lobster, so shy that it hid in its lair among the corals and only the long white antennae stood out.

We follow Sonia the biologist through an area of ​​less depth. When I looked up a moment above the surface, I realized that the sky had clouded a lot and threatened with rain. Shortly after, with my face under water, I noticed how the first drops began to fall on my back and back. We continue to draw corals through this shallow area. In these areas you have to be very careful to avoid touching a coral and breaking it unintentionally or to suffer a scratch when touching any. Although if you just float there is no problem. Looking at the surface of the water from below, I suddenly saw that it seemed to be boiling, and that is that It was raining heavily. When I raised my head again and looked around, a huge tub of water was falling.

The horizon had turned completely gray and you couldn't even see the island of the hotel. Anyway, the ship accompanied us and was close. We wondered if we should return to the ship or not, and while we decided, we met at a point where we could stand without touching any coral. It was a strange and unique experience to be standing in the middle of the ocean, under a shower that prevented seeing the surroundings. Sonia, the biologist, then swam through the corals to show us the easiest way to get to the ship. In a minute we reach deeper waters and breathe relieved because when you are in a shallow reef area, it is easy to touch some coral without wanting to. Then we boarded the ship with the help of the hotel employees and there were drinks waiting for us in a portable fridge. In addition, they gave us some towels in case we wanted to dry ourselves.

After five minutes it had stopped raining, although the sky was still cloudy. We reach the other reef, the Sharks point, and we went back into the water. In this case we were following the slope of the reef. Here our guide was going to look out to try to detect the black tip reef sharks which are usually seen here. Unfortunately, we only saw one quite a distance away that went very fast and left. Apparently, these sharks are more afraid of humans than we can get to them (like the ones we had seen in the hotel Banyan Tree Vibbanfaru). Luckily, apart from many banks of electric blue fish we also saw a nest of clown fish on some deep green anemones. They are beautiful and, as they usually look very little, it is always satisfying to find one of their nests.

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