GoPro lessons: Let sleeping crocs lie and don’t mess with a hungry sea turtle

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This feisty little chap came up to my GoPro, decided that it wasn't food and gave it a hard slap with a fin as it spun away. The turtle is a well-known resident of Mexico Rocks, a popular dive and snorkel site along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize.
This feisty little chap came up to my GoPro, decided that it wasn’t food and gave it a hard slap with a fin as it spun away. The turtle is a well-known resident of Mexico Rocks, a popular dive and snorkel site along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize. Yes, those are sharks below. Gives you an idea of the clarity of the water on this day.

I’ve added a GoPro to my arsenal of photographic tools which, up to this point, consisted of an iPod.

At the moment I’m just learning what a GoPro can do (eg. nice underwater video of turtles) and can not do (eg. night photos of a gorgeous full moon).

A week ago, I tried to take photos of our neighborhood crocodile, Sophie, as she sunned herself in her private lagoon just north of the bridge from San Pedro. This was my first glimpse of Sophie. And Rose’s too. She spotted Sophie while cycling home from downtown and excitedly called me on the phone.

This turtle fears neither man nor beast and fights for a hunk of chum among the feisty Sergeant Major fish, belligerent rays and docile nurse sharks at Mexico Rocks.
This turtle fears neither man nor beast and fights for a hunk of chum among the feisty Sergeant Major fish, belligerent rays and docile nurse sharks at Mexico Rocks.

“Better hurry up and get down here before the tourists scare her away!”

At my age, hurrying took 20 minutes. Fortunately, the tourists never massed and Sophie hadn’t budged.

And that was the problem.

“I think she may be dead,” said Rose sadly.

I thought so, too. I mean, there is a crocodile sitting on the edge of a pond with the tip of its tail in the water and its mouth wide open. In the burning hot afternoon sun.

This feisty little chap came up to my GoPro, decided that it wasn't food and gave it a hard slap with a fin as it spun away. The turtle is a well-known resident of Mexico Rocks, a popular dive and snorkel site along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize.
This feisty little chap came up to my GoPro, decided that it wasn’t food and gave it a hard slap with a fin as it spun away. The turtle is a well-known resident of Mexico Rocks, a popular dive and snorkel site along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize.

It was the wide-open mouth that did it for me. We watched as it sat motionless — Did I mention with mouth wide open? — for another 15 minutes or so. I took a few photos with the GoPro, in which it is nearly impossible to make out the crocodile, even when enlarged.

Just as I offered to bicycle into the lagoon and prod the corpse, Sophie shut her trap. And slid swiftly into the murky waters.

Which is probably why I have all my limbs today.

Timing can be everything, when it comes to sleeping crocodiles.

This feisty little chap came up to my GoPro, decided that it wasn't food and gave it a hard slap with a fin as it spun away. The turtle is a well-known resident of Mexico Rocks, a popular dive and snorkel site along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize.
This feisty little chap came up to my GoPro, decided that it wasn’t food and gave it a hard slap with a fin as it spun away. The turtle is a well-known resident of Mexico Rocks, a popular dive and snorkel site along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize.

And by now you are wondering, if this is a story about a crocodile, why are there pictures of turtles — well, a turtle — all over this blog?

Did you ever hear about the drunk who was looking for his watch under a lamp on 45th Street when he actually lost it somewhere around 40th Street?

His reason: “Because the lighting is better here.”

These photos from Mexico Rocks, a reserve on the Belize Barrier Reef, are here because the lighting was better, in a manner of speaking. These photos came out. The crocodile ones didn’t.

In your face .....
In your face …..

That’s the best I can do.

So, I hope you enjoyed the crocodile story. And enjoyed the turtle photos.

And really, if you had a choice between looking at a cute little turtle at play or a dirty old  crocodile asleep with its mouth open, which would make your day happier?

Exactly.

Nose-to-nose with a ticked off turtle who thought my camera was food.
Nose-to-nose with a ticked off turtle who thought my camera was food.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “GoPro lessons: Let sleeping crocs lie and don’t mess with a hungry sea turtle

    Cheryl Taylor Bowen said:
    August 10, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Robert- did you shoot these as stills or capture them from video. I’m still messing around with mine, trying to figure out the “best” way to get what I want.

    Liked by 1 person

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      August 10, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Cheryl!
      These were all still shots. I shot some video as well but the file sizes are enormous and I can’t use the GoPro editing tools until I upgrade the Mac I inherited from my son, Ryan.
      My early observations are that the GoPro needs good light to take good images and video. Also, the best shots are up close and personal … also known as “in your face” photography! How about you?

      Like

        Paul Baudry said:
        August 11, 2015 at 6:20 am

        Pink filter is good to 20 ft for turquoise correction I found out. If you are diving…to 85 ft or so use red filter.

        Liked by 1 person

    Susan Watts said:
    August 11, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Great shots! Thanks…24 more days and we’ll be there! Hope to see you and Rose again.

    Liked by 1 person

    Emily said:
    August 13, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Absolutely gorgeous turtle shots! I remember seeing a croc in that same wide-mouth pose and dead still along the river bank on our boat ride to Lamanai, and I honestly wondered if it was a fake to amaze we touristas. Now I’m guessing not. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Rick Lapensee said:
    August 15, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Amazing photos. I have been following your posts since I discovered your blog and all the history. What an amazing adventure you and Rose have had. Reading them has gone a long way to convincing my wife, Anna and I to visit AC and experience the life and determine if it is the right place to retire. We are from Ottawa, Canada and will be coming down November 1 to commence our own adventure. Could I contact you privately with a few personal questions that we have. Great reads. Keep it up.

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      August 15, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Good for you, Rick! I’ll e-mail you with my contact information. Happy to answer any questions that I can.

      Like

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