Snorkeling Tour in Vieques - Swimming with Squirt

Snorkeling Tour in Vieques - Swimming with Squirt

By Stephanie Velazquez

It is important that you keep this in mind, if it’s not sand, do not stand, and if it’s alive, do not bother or touch it. The more you respect nature, the better encounters with the wildlife you will get, for example with our turtle friends. Sea turtles are undoubtedly the main ocean creature visitors want to see in Vieques and it is very important that we protect and respect them and all of the wildlife we encounter during the time spent snorkeling, not just the sea turtles, but every living organism. When we show them respect by giving them some space and not creating much movement, we notice that they tend to spend more time near us after they catch a breath of fresh air. They don’t have to come up for air near us, and they most certainly would not stay close to us if they feel any type of threat.

Squirt had just swam under my belly, see the video, click here.  

Sea turtles can burst at speeds of 22 mph whenever they feel threatened. You don't want to be that person in your group to scare them away, especially during that moment when they come to the surface for air. Sea turtles have to get air every 10 to 15 minutes when they are swimming around or eating. When they are resting or sleeping, they are able to hold their breathe underwater for up to 4 to 5 hours. During resting time, their heart beat also slows down in order to burn the less amount of energy as possible.  

After 6 days of not being able to visit our favorite snorkeling location due to poor visibility, where sea turtles are common, we finally got there today and once again encountered Squirt. Not only did we see this turtle, but it swam up near us again and Ellie, one of our guests, 7 years old, was able to see it up close. She was stoked since she was really looking forward to seeing this turtle after I told her and her family so much about Squirt on the way to the beach. I shared with them about our encounters with this specific turtle in the past. 

Squirt once again comes up to us. 

Joining a tour with Salty Spirit not only supports a locally owned company, but you support island beach cleanups, yearly collaborations with non profit organizations in Vieques like Manta, Ticatove, and Sandra Reyes Art camp where we educate the little ones about ocean conservation and the wildlife around the island. When you join us out in the water you will have epic encounters with the wildlife and you will learn so much about the reef and the different species we swim by. It's incredible how much people miss out on when they go snorkeling on their own, or when they take one of those tours where you simply follow the leader and swim fast over the reef. 

Private Snorkeling Tour, click here. 

Group Snorkeling Tour, click here.