The thing my friend Steve wanted to do on Bequia, an island in The Grenadines, was to visit the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary and this was TOTALLY fine with me. A local fisherman by the name of Brother King combined his love for sea creatures and his retirement and started the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary in 1995. He goes out and find turtle eggs on the beach and brings them back to the sanctuary. He then hatches them and raises the turtles until they are big enough to survive in the wild, which is around year seven.
The Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary is about two miles from town, so we grabbed a cab out there, but planned on walking back. When we pulled up we got out as the driver honked his horn. After a couple blasts a guy raised his head from a small house across the parking lot from the large shed the turtles are in. He yelled it will be about five minutes and laid back down. Hmmm interesting. I guess he needs his nap? ????
Another young guy came over to welcome us and collect our entrance fee. As we handed the cash over we excitedly looked around at all the turtles in the various pools and waited for some sort of introduction and commentary of the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. The guy simple walked his arm around and basically said look at the turtles. I have to admit it was somewhat of a letdown. ???? He was a nice enough chap, but he seemed more interested in telling us his story and asking if we needed any help on the boat than telling us about the turtles. He did answer every question we had as we walked from one pool to another.
As much as the tour side of the experience was missing, the personal interaction we got with several of the larger and older (17-22 years old) turtles was off the chart!!! They would come to the side of the pool and raise their head to get closer. They looked to have their chin rubbed and Steve had one go forehead to forehead with him in a bonding moment.
Even though I see turtles every day, I am so glad we went to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. They are such magical and timeless creatures that I never get tired of spending time with them.