We’re now in Bequia, at the time of writing this anyway, an island about 6 miles off the main land of St. Vincent & The Grenadines (SVG). The island is beautiful, just like an island paradise, and is only very small (6 miles long). This meant it was ideal to take an island tour, part of which was the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary.
The sanctuary rescue and protect the Hawksbill Turtles that are native to the area and are slowly on the decline. The owner was very informative about what they do there to protect the turtles and how it is working. I wouldn’t call their methods ideal but I guess if it protects them, it works. The sanctuary isn’t a very big place and is run by a small team but they do have a lot of turtles, I didn’t count but there were definitely more than 30 turtles in various tanks.
After the owners talk we got the chance to wander round and observe the turtles doing what they do best, swimming around. After watching the turtles for a while, one of the younger members of the team approached us and asked us if we wanted to stroke and tickle a turtle. We jumped at the opportunity, like any sane person would, and spent the rest of our time stoking and tickling the 2 biggest turtles they had.
A turtles neck has a very strange texture, it looks smooth but feels very wrinkly and pimply, not something I was very fond of. The shell on the other hand was extremely smooth, as you would expect, and a pleasure to touch. Turtles like the feel of vibrations on their shell and tickling it is the perfect way to do so. When you tickle their shell they roll from side to side, much like a person would when you tickle their ribs. They look like they're trying to get away but when you stop they lift their head out of the water and hiss as a way of protesting to you stopping and begging for more.
Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary is worth a visit if you’re in Bequia but it’s not a reason to visit the island. Bequest on the other hand is definitely worth a visit as it is exactly what you picture when you think of the Caribbean.
If you would like to see more photos related to this post check out the Gallery below.
Have you ever tickled a turtle?
Thanks for reading!