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Wildlife Journalist and Ocean lover contributing to Getty Images and The Scuba News. Local Patch Reporter at BBC Wildlife and Brand Ambassador at Sand Cloud. Happy Travelling! // LiveTheDream

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Underwater Photography - Green Turtles In the South Red Sea

To me Turtles are one of the hardest animals to film underwater, because, as odd as it sounds, they really aren't bothered by our presence. With that in mind then, keeping a respectable distance is something that you need to remember, and constantly! I always found it so upsetting to see people touching marine life, whether it be stamping on the coral reef or indeed trying to ride or stroke Turtles. However the temptation to get closer and closer for the perfect picture is something that I really had to be mindful of on this trip. If you're looking for a place to see or film Green Turtles then look no further. Marsa Alam in the South Red Sea is home to many. This place is my favourite travel destination, and for good reason! The highest concentration of Green Turtles (and sometimes Hawksbill, but you will have more luck finding them on the nearby reef) can be found at Marsa Mubarak or Turtle Bay as it is known locally (not the Caribbean Restaurant, but far more rewarding)
We decided to give it a go. We knew they were here as we were lucky enough to see them the previous day, nibbling inconspicuously at the sea grass which lines the sandy bottom of the bay. Getting on our snorkelling kit was no problem until we attempted to enter the water- rocks everywhere! Of course, with fins on it is almost impossible to enter the water corectly, so of course we stumbled around unable to remove our fins until one of us fell over. Luckily the camera wasn't damaged! (I have never attempted a shore snorkel or dive with my fins on since!)
The water at Marsa Mubarak has pretty good visibility despite the sandy bottom; and the abundance of both sea grass and reef (found a little further out) makes it a brilliant place to spot wildlife. Whitetip Reef Shark pups are known to visit the bay and Dugongs known as "Dennis" and "Dyson" to the locals have made it their permanent home. You'll be pretty lucky to see either of these- but your chances of seeing Green Turtles here is pretty much guaranteed! After 10 minutes in the water we were greeted by two giant Green Turtles, each one the size of a lorry tire. Camera time. I use an Olympus camera underwater - It's by no means top of the range but for a beginner SCUBA diver like me it does the trick! Here are some of the photos. This was the first time I had ever attempted underwater photography! Now I am fully aware that these aren't top of the top amazing, but I was pretty impressed that I managed to stay still enough at depth with my dive kit to take them at all! These pictures are from both Marsa Mubarak and Marsa Abu Dabbab, another exceptional spot for diving with Turtles just down the road from Mubarak. Turtles are so peaceful to dive with, pushing through the water with ease and nipping away at the sea grass, whilst us divers and snorkelers faff around with our kit and try not to disturb the wildlife. We should feel grateful that they allow us to share their space with them in this way. If you're a big fan of underwater photography or can recommend any camera kit or camera techniques, please drop me an email because I would love to hear from you!
Happy travelling,

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