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Scuba Diving in Hawaii with Turtles

Turtles in Hawaii

The Hawaiian green sea turtle- Hawaii's second right behind the spinner dolphins for the ambassador of "Aloha" job entitlement. The famous and requested by scuba divers in Hawaii, the Hawaiian green sea turtle is found on most reefs of Oahu and throughout the Hawaiian Island archipelago where the marine life is abundant. Turtles not only can be seen while scuba diving Oahu, the Hawaiian green sea turtle can also be seen on the beaches of Oahu. Laniakea Beach is a favorite for the Hawaiian green sea turtle to relax and sunbathe. This area is also a good location due to the seaweed that grows in the shallow reefs and on the rocks. Ideal food for the Hawaiian green sea turtle to forage for food here. Caution should be exercised when visiting Laniakea Beach. Remember, the Hawaiian green sea turtle is very popular and visitors here on Oahu love to view and take pictures of these gentle little giants. Giving the Hawaiian green sea turtle some peace and distance is ideal for the survival of this area and it will for sure allow visitors in the future to enjoy this incredible beach made popular by the Hawaiian green sea turtle. Yes this is great, to see these turtles up close and personally but nothing beats actually diving along side these Hawaiian reptiles.

The Hawaiian green sea turtles gives the illusion of being very sluggish and not so nimble. Not a chance. Hawaiian green sea turtles are extremely agile and very efficient swimmers. One has to realize that the waters of Hawaii although very beautiful are home to some very interesting hunters that dine of sea turtles. The main predator to the sea turtle is the dreadful tiger shark. The tiger shark relies solely on ambushing the sea turtles. If the tiger shark is spotted the sea turtle in most case can out maneuver the tiger shark. Since the sea turtles breath air and have to surface to do this, tiger sharks have been known to attack sea turtles. Time and time again I have tried to get a beautiful picture of a Hawaiian green sea turtle on the surface, the lighting is great and the turtle's color is vivid due to the sun. Instinct tells the turtle to immediately dive. Even though the green sea turtles occasionally do not mind scuba divers they take surfacing very seriously and do not care to pose for pictures. This is a sea turtles most vulnerable time.

In Oahu if you get a chance to go scuba diving most likely you will encounter a Hawaiian green sea turtle. Not all Oahu diving locations cater to the sea turtles. There are some locations the you will not encounter sea turtles (I am sure turtles have been there just they prefer to life elsewhere) however since we do provide scuba diving tours that cater to visitors who want to see turtles we know just where to go. On the south shore of Oahu, just off the coast of Waikiki there is an excellent dive location that is very famous for the Hawaiian green sea turtles - Turtle Canyons Waikiki. There you can pretty much have turtles approach you, being the complete opposite of what the Hawaiian green sea turtle will do in other locations of of Oahu. Turtles here at this reef are in constant view and company with humans. Scuba divers, snorkelers, kayakers and sailing catamarans frequent this area therefore the green sea turtles are very relaxed here. Other areas like the Spitting Caves diving location on the south east shore side is a different story. The Hawaiian green sea turtle does not particularly care for divers. We think this is because of the immediate dangers in this area. Sharks do frequent this location more than Waikiki and not to mention fisherman off the rocky shores do cast their lines and occasionally snag turtles.

 

Respect and distance is the main issues with the Hawaiian green sea turtles. Remember out of common sense you would want to do this with sea turtles but also here in Hawaii it is a state law that you do not harass, hunt or hurt the Hawaiian green sea turtles. Before the state began protecting them in 1974 the Hawaiian green sea turtles were dwindling in number due to people hunting them for food. Now that the Hawaiian green sea turtle is protected there are believed to be 35,000 mature green sea turtles in Hawaii- a nearly 600 percent increase from back in the 70s.