Turtles are Shy

When you travel to any warm beach locations, many brochures show photos of people swimming along side turtles. After today, I feel like that only happens in the movies! As does Bailie.

Our morning started back at the Cove for a kayak excursion to play in the water, watch a few turtles and kayak surf.

  • Our kayak found our rhythm – and then often lost it when someone (or someone’s) lost focus on paddling by trying to sneak in some site seeing. The coral felt at times like it was just below the surface. We could see deep into the water.
  • And our mission was to check out the turtles. We spotted several. But you have to sneak up on them to get close. You can easily spot their heads out of the water…and sometimes a big of shell. These babies were big! They were big because they were smart, or shy, and if they avoid their predators as well as they avoided eye contact with us, it makes sense they have lived long enough to get that big. Hence the first reason why I think it only happens in the movies.
  • After a swimming break in the middle of the ocean, it was time to kayak surf. Or is it surf kayak. Not sure. Much like yesterday our guides walked us through catching a wave in the kayak. And, of course, standing paddle overhead to enjoy the full effect. (We also attempted ghost rider by flattening in the canoe. (I hit my head on the out-rigging attachment as I was sitting right in front of it, so I couldn’t get quite flat enough).
Then after a quick lunch, we headed out to snorkel where the turtles hang out on off a beach south of Wailea.
  • The wind was picking up, so we had to head out fast. That few hundred yards seems like forever as the wind picked up the waves pushed harder. Thankfully, our guide took the kids on a surf board so the adults had a place to rest.
  • Almost at our destination, our guide found a turtle in the bouy line. He was able to dive down and free him, but the turtle didn’t stick around long to say thanks – or even swim for a minute.
  • Then one was spotted not far away but I didn’t get there in time. I got distracted by other fish including a rather large needlefish. Really, do you need to swim so fast turtles?
Of course, Bailie was crushed. We convinced her not to give up yet. We have a few more days for her quest to swim with the turtles. It just may happen.
Oct. 13, 2011 Update
We swam with turtles! After a challenging morning at the Honolu’a Bay Reserve, we headed to Black Rock Beach. As I sat on the beach to lick my wounds from the previous stop, the family headed out. They came back in sharing their excitement for the variety of fish, yet still no turtle siting. However, the family sitting next to us had seen one just minutes ago – and their six year old was bouncing off the walls with excitement.
I headed out with the boogie board to check it out. Before I knew it I was past the point and ready to head around the corner where many others were snorkeling. As I checked my location, a man 25 feet away beckoned me over. Before I knew it, I was swimming next to a turtle. I stopped just to watch it slowly paddle away. Of course, I was excited, so I headed in quickly to encourage Bailie to come out. After a bit, I looked down and he was right below me! 
Bailie, Uncle Matt, and Logan headed out – and swam with two turtles. They arrived back on shore right after one came up to feed on the edge, so we got to see that one up close too. When I motioned Bailie over, the turtle was swimming right at her. The look on her face when she stood up was great! She was both surprised and very happy. Three turtle encounters for Bailie in one day!

Author: sheilashultz

Search marketer by day, full-time Mom by night...always looking for ways to find a few moments of "me" time.

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