Turtle kissing in Martinique

Just a quick post as I have a video I just have to share with you and luckily have good wifi for uploading. We had the best time ever diving the other day at Diamond Rock, Martinique. The story of the 175m high basalt island is an interesting one. Back in 1804 the British were fighting the French and running low on ships. Ever resourceful, they decided to commission the rock as a ship, which became HMS Diamond Rock, complete with cannons and a hundred or so men to man them. They say the French didn’t know what hit them as they sailed into Martinique. Apparently on today’s Admiralty charts the rock is still shown as HMS Diamond Rock and British ships are required to give it the naval salute as they pass. Sailors on the upper deck stand at attention and face the rock whilst the bridge salutes.

But it’s what’s under her waters that attracted us. When you look at the chart there is a shallow north side and a very deep south side. We enquired about diving there and were told we must have dived recently because sometimes there can be currents and you need to have good buoyancy control in the swim-throughs. On the second dive we’d go to a plateau where turtles often feed on sea grass. Our dive master, Cyril, said we may run into a large turtle by the name of “Paula”. He said if we find her we must be careful not to scare her. If she lifts her head from feeding, then drop yours so she doesn’t feel threatened. She’s often very friendly towards divers as they scrape barnacles from her carapace. He also said if she gets too friendly then a gentle push on her shell, rather than her flippers, is OK. Well, we did find Paula and she took quite a fancy to Fitzy. Not sure if she’s French though, as she didn’t kiss both cheeks! But then again Fitzy wasn’t entirely receptive to her advances. I think he was a bit focused on how close her rather large beak was to his air hose. And whilst we were watching Paula, the lobsters were watching us. Hilarious! We saw other turtles too, but none quite as engaging as Paula. It really is amazing down there. Our dive master, Cyril from Paradis Plongee, did a fantastic job of catching it all on video. At the end of the dives he very generously provided us with the footage that he’d shot. I was then able to edit it and add some music. It’s short and sweet but it’s really nice to have some footage that has both of us in it.

There’s also a quick look at going through one of the faults in the rock – you might have already seen this on Facebook.


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