Receive discounts on GVI programs for life!

We are very excited to announce the launch of the GVI Membership! It will give you unprecedented access to discounted spots on a range of GVI programs, updated every single month, at up to 40% off! Sign in and know more about here!

GVI Marine Training kit

Please click here to access the online GVI Marine training kit

If you are coming for four weeks click
here to find the training tool that will help you learning your juvenile fish!

Study on the go! Click here for a Caribbean fish id guide application for iphones, ipads and ipods!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My encounter with a huge loggerhead turtle!

Behind our dive leader’s mask were a pair of eyes that had just seen something amazing. She made the sign for “Look over there!” and as I turned I saw an incredibly massive loggerhead turtle. It was probably about a meter and a half long and it was so old that it had barnacles growing on its shell. Its size and its curiosity startled me…it was approaching our group so quickly that I almost felt like I should move out of the way of this massive, ancient reptile, but instead of charging us it stopped and looked at us with a confused expression. I felt like this turtle was surprised and curious about what exactly we were, but at the same time its expression made me feel like it could almost be laughing at us for challenging nature by being in a place where humans aren’t really supposed to go.

As cliché as it sounds, being on the reef really does feel like being on a different planet sometimes…not being able to breathe, all of the unusual and beautiful organisms that don’t resemble anything you could find on land, and how it is so vast and unexplored. Usually when I’m diving I feel as though I go unnoticed by the complacent fish, but when another animal actually notices you and acknowledges your existence and misplacement in the sea, it’s kind of unsettling. However, despite the uneasiness the turtle’s gaze made me feel, it was actually one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life. Seeing that turtle made me wonder about everything it must have lived through in order to survive as long as it had…the challenge of being a vulnerable baby turtle in the unforgiving ocean, avoiding fishing nets, being strong enough to swim incredible distances to mate…and what an incredible moment it was that it came up to our group in the ocean to look at us. This turtle’s consciousness and awareness of my existence in its world reminded me of why I am here doing conservation work; to help reverse some of the damage my species has done to a world of beautiful, mysterious creatures.

Anna S

Vienna, VA, USA