Before going to Hawaii, if you said turtle, I was thinking ‘slow as.’ I will admit there is some truth to the cliché. And turtles don’t help their public image by sleeping soundly for prolonged periods on public beaches of all places.
On the beach, it’s almost painful to watch the huge effort a large turtle expends trying to move. First it moves its flippers a little ahead, then slowly drags its body forward repeating the process many times to move a short distance. No wonder they need a nap by the time they get out of the reach of the waves. So far the cliché is intact.
Once we started getting better at finding turtles in the water, I got a surprise. As long as a turtle was feeding, I could easily photograph it. But as soon as it started to swim away, suddenly I was the slow one trying to keep up! Those large, powerful flippers worked like jet propulsion to thrust them forward or turn on a dime. Impressive!
As we looked over the water we could see flippers dancing in and out of the water and knew the sea turtles were flying around in the water and quickly destroying my mental image. So maybe I need to start using the term turtle as a compliment. After all they are amazingly quick, work hard even at things they aren’t good at and rest peacefully. So would you be happy to be called a turtle?