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Rare snorkelling find

Banksia Bulletin contributor, Michael Anderson, reflects on his recent snorkelling trip at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary when he spotted a turtle.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

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The following article is taken from the Banksia Bulletin - winter 2022 edition.
Words by Michael Anderson.

"I was snorkelling at the boundary of Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary in about six metres of water, south of the Teahouse when I first saw a ‘rock’ at the bottom of the Bay that looked odd compared to the rest of its surroundings as it was sitting up.

"Then it clicked – it was a turtle resting on the bottom of the seabed!

"I couldn’t believe it, as I thought they were tropical or subtropical, and in Port Phillip Bay at the start of winter, it was kind of nuts. Thinking that no one would believe me unless I got some video and pictures, I dived down and slowly approached.

"When I got to about three metres away, I hit record and filmed about eight seconds of this magnificent turtle before it slowly started to swim away and eventually was out of sight. Going back to the surface, I was still thinking about the turtle and turned around and headed in the direction it swam off to, quickly catching up to it outside the marine sanctuary boundary.

"I went down again, got a couple more photos from about three metres away and it swum off again. This time I followed it. Well outside the marine sanctuary boundary now, I caught up with the turtle again when I heard a boat above. I had seen enough, and the turtle was heading to deeper water and further away from the marine sanctuary, so it was time to head back."

Watch a video of the turtle swimming on the Marine Care Ricketts Point Facebook.

Read Banksia Bulletin winter 2022

If you see an injured or distressed marine animal, please contact the Marine Response Unit on 1300 245 678.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in the Banksia Bulletin are not necessarily those of Bayside City Council nor its representatives.