Possibly the Coolest Thing I’ve Ever Seen in Belize, In Fact EVER

And it happened on the Mexico Rock’s Catamaran trip with Seaduced about 2 years ago.  Beautiful day and we were sailing up north when the captain, Sylvan spotted a massive turtle by the reef.  A leatherback or loggerhead, I believe.  The 8 or 10 people on the boat ran to one side of the boat to take a look.  The turtle head and neck were HUGE.We were all pretty pleased about spotting the turtle, we slowed to get a bit closer when Sylvan’s 17 year old son yells out “Dad, I think something’s wrong with it!”…none of us on the boat saw any problem.  But Sylvan saw the turtle was gasping for air and somehow knew that he has swallowed a puffer fish.    Ouch.

Sylvan Jr and Leonard (the other crew member) dove right in the water to go grab the turtle whose shell alone had to be 4 feet long.   SOMEHOW they brought the super angry and hurt turtle to the back of the boat.  Leonard was clinging to his back and Sylvan got out a big knife…like a foot long.

I was ready for the worst…I wasn’t even going to look.  I didn’t take any pictures.  I was sure I was at this turtle’s funeral.  My friend Julia took this one.   This turtle’s neck was HUGE and his mouth was open and upward and he was fighting for his last breaths.  I actually went to the front of the boat, I didn’t want to see a turtle with a slit throat.

The turtle did not want anything to do with the catamaran but Sylvan Jr and Leonard were both on it’s back fighting it for about 10 minutes.  One was holding it’s huge beak open.

The knife went down it’s throat and finally, Sylvan pulled out a dead, deflated puffer fish.  I was stunned.  We all were.  The turtle took a giant gasp. was released, gave a massive flap and swam back out to the reef.

For those of you who think I gush too much about the Seaduced catamaran, I bet you don’t see that everyday.  Sylvan is some sort of crazy wildlife whisperer and still a captain with Seaduced.  To this day, I still can’t believe I saw that.




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  • Wow, that’s crazy! That actually gave me chills! (good writing, BTW!)

  • Me

    It gives me the chills 2 years later. Thanks for reading.

  • What an incredible story! And to be witness to something like this. Thanks for sharing with us. Just stumbled upon your blog and glad I did!

  • Me

    I’m glad you did too. Thanks very much for reading.