The ‘Turtle Spotting’ boat trip was the second boat trip that I went on during my recent holiday to the Greek island of Zakynthos (Zante).
My husband and I had already enjoyed a boat trip from this company and we had seen turtles, visited caves and Marathonisi Island. We decided to go on this second and shorter trip mainly for the joy of getting out to sea on a boat for short while. Of course we were still hopeful of seeing a turtle or two.
We paid for the trip and were given a ticket and while we waited we did the same as we had done before the last trip and had a drink at The Blue Waves restaurant which was close by.
When it was almost time for the trip to start we made our way to the small jetty on Laganas Beach. Soon the boat arrived and we made our way along the jetty and onto the boat. This boat was smaller than the boat we had been on previously we had a different captain. This boat, as with the previous boat we had been on from this company, was clean and very easy to access.
I'm not sure how many passengers were on the boat but I think it was eight to ten. Two of the passengers were inspectors from The National Marine Park of Zakynthos.
We had only been out at sea for a short while when the captain turned off the engine as he stopped the boat; our first turtle was in sight. Again, I was surprised at how large these loggerhead (Caretta Caretta) turtles really are.
Lots of photographs were taken and all passengers got a good view of the turtle. We were told that it was in fact a male turtle. It came up for air several times while we watched and it was wonderful to see the prehistoric creature at such close and natural quarters.
We moved on and sped off into deeper waters. Soon the boat was again stopped and we were fortunate enough to see another turtle. Apparently late August and early September is when the turtles are moving off to more distant shores and there is less chance of seeing them on a trip in the Ionian Sea. Laganas Boat Trips actually promised a refund of the trip price if a turtle wasn't spotted. I would have still enjoyed the trip even if I hadn't seen a turtle because, although the focus of the excursion was to see a turtle, I enjoyed the trip for the experience of sailing out and catching a cooling breeze on a very hot day.
We were very lucky to see another turtle; other holiday makers we had spoken to before we went on this trip had told us that they had only seen one female turtle on their trip.
When the boat was stopped to observe the third turtle there was another boat and a pedaloe close to its space. I thought that the boats were respectful and although they were obviously on a mission to give passengers a good and close up view of the turtles they didn’t stop them moving away or try to hem them in but I did feel that the swimmers from the pedalo were intent on following the turtle and it didn’t feel quite right to me.
We made our way back to Laganas Beach and everyone seemed happy to have seen the turtles. I and my husband had certainly enjoyed this trip.
The ‘Turtle Spotting’ trip lasted for an hour.
It cost €8 per person which I think is excellent value.
The trip goes out every hour on the hour from eleven in the morning until five in the evening in the main holiday season, although from September the trips had become less frequent owing to a reduced demand with fewer holidaymakers about.
Laganas boat trips are fully insured and are endorsed by the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.