Sea turtle happily returns to the ocean
Sea turtles are amazing creatures that have been living on Earth for more than 100 million years. They are very rare, and although they live in almost every ocean basin throughout the world, the vast majority of people have never seen these fabulous animals in their natural surroundings. To encounter sea turtle on the land is even rarer, making this moment extra unique and unforgettable for my wife and me. As our honeymoon destination, in May 2017, we chose to visit the beautiful Maldives. Although we had some idea of what to expect, from the photos and the videos we watched before our trip, the reality superseded all our wildest expectations! All those sceneries turned out to be equally or even more beautiful than their photos suggested. From the kindness of the professional staff to the whiteness of the sand and the warmth of the turquoise blue sea - especially for us, coming from cold Europe, everything was terrific and we had one pleasant surprise after another one. The most fantastic thing was the unspoiled nature and incredibly diverse and colorful animal world. Although we spend every summer on the beautiful Adriatic sea, I have never seen such a rich and abundant marine life. Honestly, most of the time, I felt like I'm swimming in a big aquarium. There is no wonder why the Maldives are among the best areas of the world for snorkeling and diving. It is pretty obvious that animals don't feel threatened by humans, and it's not a rare occasion that they will come closer to check you out and the other way around. Precisely this lack of fear is base for so many unique experiences, making the Maldives one of the most amazing places in the world. One of these unreal experiences was our encounter with a gigantic sea turtle. It was early morning, and we were just heading out for breakfast when we heard some voices behind our villa. We went to see what is going on and came across one of those fantastic surprises I mentioned earlier. There was this marvelous creature in front of us, measuring more than a meter long (40 inches), moving slowly towards the ocean. As we find out later, it probably was the female turtle who was returning to the sea, after laying eggs on the beach. Sea turtles spend their whole lives at sea, and the only exception is the adult females who come ashore to lay eggs several times per season every 2 to 5 years. We tried to suppress our curiosity and stayed at an appropriate distance so we wouldn't frighten her. But the turtle showed no fear like, just like we were not there, and she just continued her progress to the ocean. It felt like we were in some wildlife documentary series and not on our morning walk to breakfast. It got us thinking that this is how it must felt like before when humans lived in harmony with nature.