I spent the morning swimming and going for my favorite lomi lomi massage at Legian before settling in for lunch.
I love the local dishes and can’t eat enough!
After lunch it was off to Turtle Sanctuary or also better known as Turtle Island. The best time to go is in the early morning when the tide is high and the turtles are active but since I could only make it in the afternoon I had no choice. There are quite a number of places that allows you to charter their speed boat to get to Turtle Island but since tide is low, only the one nearer to the port with deeper waters can accommodate my request.
The companies that take you to turtle island usually also provides services for banana boat, para sailing, flying fish, jet ski and other water activities so you could plan your whole day in the sea.
After some registration and off we go! Low tides meant the speed boat couldn’t park closer to shore at turtle island so be prepared to walk a short distance through the water to get to the island. Turtle island has changed quite a bit since the last time I visited which was only 1 year ago. They renovated the place and improved the living conditions of the turtles. You can see my previous turtle island excursion here.
All species of turtle have been specified as endangered as per International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The purpose of the turtle sanctuary here is to save the turtle eggs from predators; permit them to hatch naturally and then to raise the young turtles for one year before releasing them safely into the sea. Injured turtles will also be cared for until they are well enough to be released back into the sea.
Buried in the sand above are turtle eggs! It was hatching season but since turtles tend to hatch at night or in the wee hours of the morning, there was no chance of me catching that in action.
But I did get to see the day old turtles! So cute!
In the early stages of their lives, turtles are carnivores, feeding on small swimming and bottom feeding organisms such as jelly fish, tunicates, sponges, soft corals, crabs, squids and fish. They shift to a vegetarian diet as they mature with the adult turtles feeding on sea grasses and algae. A turtle reaches maturity after about fifty years.
Near the island of Bali and Lombok, the Indian and Pacific Oceans meet. The meeting of theses two great bodies of water and the various ocean currents brings a great number and variety of turtles, from as far away as Mexico and South America. The loggerhead turtles above are carnivorous. Carnivorous turtles tend to be smaller in size which herbivorous turtles grow really huge in size.
These herbivorous green sea turtles are known to migrate long distances between their feeding grounds and the beaches they hatched from. Some of them are known to are known to swim distances of greater than 2,600 kilometers just to get back to the beach they were hatched from to continue the life cycle. They can grown up to 1.5m in length!
The turtle has a really heavy shell! I selected a smaller one so I could handle it… I don’t think I could pick up the bigger ones. Turtles have been in existence for over 150 million years, they survived beyond their dinosaur peers and it’s just amazing!
Sea turtles spend almost all their lives submerged but must breathe air for the oxygen needed to meet the demands of vigorous activity. Turtles can rest or sleep underwater for several hours at a time but submergence time is much shorter while diving for food or to escape predators. Breath-holding ability is affected by activity and stress, which is why turtles drown in shrimp trawls and other fishing gear within a relatively short time.
Turtle Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that relies fully on donations so to attract more visitors to visit, the also house several other animals on the island.
There are crabs too… though I don’t think this was supposed to be part of their attraction. lol
I just found it cute that all the tiny crabs on the island only had one big pincer.
A toucan! It was exhilarating having one so close to me!
This is a white bellied sea eagle and despite it’s tiny size it can easy attack and capture preys as big as a swan! The talons resting on my arms are pretty sharp too. And just for trivia, this bird is also featured on the $10,000 Singapore note.
When I first saw these roosters I thought they were part of the animal tour! Unfortunately for these roosters, they are just the food stock for the snake!
Here I am with the snake which those rooster would eventually end up in. Pythons are large and muscular, and kill their prey by squeezing, or constricting, until it suffocates. The reticulated python of Southeast Asia is among the largest snakes, reaching a length of 10 m
If you look closely, you can see the snake mouth has been taped up. His tongue can still slip out though. The scary thing is that, this is not the first time I handled this very same snake. I put him around me the previous time I visited and then, his mouth wasn’t taped. Having a tape around his mouth this time round meant something went wrong and now he needs to be properly secured!
These fruit bats are huge! I had fun feeding them!
I stayed around after the small animal tour to have a drink and talk to my island guide. They don’t earn much at all as most of their daily earnings goes to their boat transportation to the island. They rely on tips as salary. They all take a queue number based on first come first serve and they will serve visitors in accordance to their queue number. He was number 45 that day and it was 3pm when I got to the island which meant I was his only visitor since the island closes around 4pm. His wife had just given birth and he was the sole bread winner. In Bali they practice sex before marriage. You only marry the girl if she gets pregnant.
Soon it was time to say bye bye to turtle island!
Here’s the video.