More Seacrets

Weird new ribbon-shaped jellyfish in the water. Why do new jellyfish take turns appearing in droves? Like they discuss it beforehand. ‘You can have the third week of February, but I’ve got the last week in March.’

Meanwhile, a hammerhead shark was spotted on Sunday, not far from here. A dive site called The Cliff. The shark was spotted by a diver who’s been on the island for a month. As Bonnie said, ‘Fifteen years I’ve been here. Have I seen a hammerhead shark once in Bonaire? No, I have not.’

At least spotted eagle rays are common under shallow Quest, digging in the sand for food. Worms maybe? It’s another seacret. This poor ray had a fishing hook in it though, just under its mouth. And fishing line trailing behind, past its tail. Lu managed to swim down and grab the line, but she couldn’t yank the hook out. You’d probably have to catch the ray and turn it over. The ray flew off. Maybe the hook will come out on its own? Poor ray. Wishful thinking I fear.

Swimming past the fishermen’s dock, we saw the usual two hawksbill turtles who hang out there, eating scraps thrown away by fishermen. One of them had whitish stuff hanging out of its mouth. It looked really uncomfortable. The turtle kept trying to brush the stuff free, and coming to the surface to breathe.

‘Is that plastic?’ Lu asked me.

‘Or an eyeball? I can’t really tell. Shall we try to remove it?’

We swam after it for ages, but to no avail. The turtle became really good at just staying out of our reach. In the end, it too escaped into deep water.

Lu looked gutted. ‘A turtle and a ray.’

We swam home via the octopus’s hole. Turned out the octopus had a visitor. Another regal-looking octopus sat by her home. He had a tentacle firmly inserted in her, ahem, direction. We couldn’t see where it ended – thank goodness. Neither of them were moving either, when Lulu swam a little way down.

‘Lu,’ I said through my snorkel, ‘maybe give them some space. I think they might be you know, busy.’

Lu looked down. ‘Ohhh.’

I wrote to Bonnie that night about the ray and the turtle. Bonnie wrote back that we could call Sea Turtle Conservation and they could come, catch and remove the turtle’s blockage. ‘Happens a lot by the fishermen’s dock unfortunately,’ she wrote.

We swam back over today. The two turtles were right there. I swear the young one came to greet us. It looked completely normal now; its mouth clear.

The big guy was struggling with something this time. Rammed right into its mouth. It too was brushing at the blockage with its fin, looking wholly uncomfortable. We could see it was definitely some piece of large fish scrap. Was it hoarding it so the other turtle couldn’t get any? Oh man. We shook our heads. We’re not calling the sea turtle people for this.

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