Totally Taken with Turtles

Rolle Cay is quite small and it offers a window view to the southern section of Sand Dollar Beach. Remains of abandoned “resort” perched on either side of the opening

Elizabeth Harbour is huge and contains many anchoring locations, most of them named, such as Monument, Sand Dollar, Honeymoon Beach, Kidd Cove, Red Shanks. Dolphins often come through, as do sharks. Rays hang out in the shallows off Volleyball Beach but it’s the turtles we really love to watch. You might spot them anywhere, but where the water isn’t so deep is your best bet, and for us that spot is behind Rolle Cay (renamed by us to Sisters Beach as s/v Little Sister and m/v Twin Sisters can be found there quite often)

For a day or two I stood on deck (well, not ALL day), camera in hand determined to digitally capture a few acceptable photos. The sun had to be right, the water not too wavy and my slow shutter camera needed to behave. That is, I needed to press the button at precisely the right second. My camera has lots of settings but as you might guess I only use a few. One setting automatically adjusts for the scene and lighting (that’s the gold symbol) the green symbol next to the gold will do a burst of 3 to 5 shots but the quality may not be as good as with the gold setting. For the turtles I mostly used the burst setting.

Turtles are not sociable and the four or five that often swam around hardly ever came close to another one. The water depth ranged from 4ft to 6ft and if not too windy, you could easily see them as they swam, nibbled turtle grass 🙂 or napped.  Every so often- oh maybe every 4mins- you’d have a photo-op when one would surface to breathe. Typically they’d take 2 to 3 breaths, then swim back down, so I had 15-20 seconds to press that button a few times.

I watched, I waited, I had that camera ready if one was close enough. The zoom is very good and I knew I’d be successful with enough patience.  Russ even snapped a picture of me at the bow but do you really want to see my backside? Nah. But hopefully you will appreciate my efforts at turtle photography. 🙂


Backside view- they don’t always cooperate you know

Love seeing how they pose so classic turtle-like !

Even better! And when they need to move, they go fast. The smaller turtles are the most skittish and quick!


One of 5-6 turtles that hang out by Rolle Cay.  One of the best of, oh, 50 shots

P.S- just as I was working on this post (anchored in what is called the Litter Box) Russ calls out that a turtle was at the stern. Grabbed the camera, found it would not turn on- went dead somehow 😦 and I missed a fabulous shot of one coming up to breathe inches from the steps. Oh well, nice to see one today.

Here’s a few more I forgot to add in:


Rolle Cay- low wind day and he came close. Color and tint altered for the effect


More tint and color adjustment- for your viewing pleasure






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