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Art & Adventure with PJ Ortiz Luis

The online portfolio of Pacifico "PJ" Ortiz Luis, a storyteller utilizing different mediums of art including film photography, dance, and performance poetry.

Seeing Sea Turtles in San Diego

wow. what. an. adventure.

It was different today.  I couldn't get anywhere near where I usually enter the ocean, so I had to walk through business districts, hike through a trail, and climb down a different cliff to get to my "secret beach.  Today, the secret lagoon was at super low tide and as I putting on my goggles 2 full sized spotted stingrays IN 6 INCHES OF WATER start swimming towards my feet. I scare them away with my fins.  Strange, because I never see that species of ray reguarly.

Then I start swimming and I see tons of hound sharks and baby leopard sharks....also something I never see often...especially at this lagoon.

All of a sudden big wave comes and kicks up the sand, so the visibility goes to ZERO. I'm literally swimming in mud.

Out of the murkiness this shark with spot patterns I don't recognize emerges right in front of my face and I SCREAM.  It stares at me for a little bit. this makes me feel uneasy because there's almost no visibility, and sharks usually swim past me.

...It took me a second to recognize I was face to face with a sea turtle. I swam with it for the rest of my swim, despite the fact it kept swimming farther and farther out through zero visibility.  I had no clue what else was lurking out there.  I followed it, and it let me stay really close to it.  I was able to pet its shell and swim side-by-side with it.

Man. what an experience. I've spent two years trying to find them, and this one found me.  

Here are the photos.  [side note:  the visibility was really poor....and a kerfuffle at the photo lab caused me to take my photos home and self scan them]