Green Sea Turtles: Hawaii’s Original Beach Bum
Sunbathing isn’t the only activity enjoyed by residents and visitors of Hawaii, it’s also a pastime of the Hawaiian green sea turtle. Protected by the state of Hawaii, these peaceful marine mammals locally known as “honu” frequently sun bathe only on the Hawaiian Islands. When exploring the north shore Oahu, they can be seen “chillin out” on the beach, just like we would. There are various beaches on the North Shore to witness these bulky sun bathing beach bums. When I arrived to one of the honu’s favorite, Laniakea Beach (Turtle Beach), I could see a handful of them laying in a peaceful, tranquil state as if they were meditating Buddhist monks. Normally sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs, but the Hawaiian green sea turtle comes ashore just to rest, which is what makes these magnificent animals so unique. Swimming around the ocean can be tiring for a sea turtle with too much exercise and predators like the tiger shark on the prowl. Coming ashore is not only a place of relaxation, but also a place of refuge. Whats amazing about witnessing this behavior is that its only been seen on the Hawaiian Islands in the past decade or so. It’s remarkable that they adapted to the environment for survival simply by finding a place for comfort. The turtles ages ranged from 10-50 years old and they each had a special individual name like Ikaika, Kimo, and Brian. Still today these honu make their daily routine of gracefully flopping themselves onto the beach for rest and relaxation. When coming to witness Hawaiian Green Sea turtles on the north shore, it is important not to interrupt these creatures in their relaxation period, sort of like my Grandpa. The areas are sometimes roped off like VIP section in a club, but you can still be close enough for a photo shoot. When taking a guided eco tour you’ll learn all the interesting facts about the Hawaiian green sea turtle. Daily departures are offered through Discover Hawaii Tours and will take you to a beach where these honu are frequently spotted. On tour you’ll also discover more natural highlights of Oahu like Waimea Valley, Botanical Gardens, and Moli’i Fishpond. After seeing the Hawaiian Green Sea turtle you’ll agree that its a once in a lifetime experience to witness these rare marine mammals. We hope you’ll learn something from the turtles when you get home; always find time to relax!