Steeped in Hawaiian myth and legend, the Hawaiian green sea turtle, or honu, is an astounding creature with a heart-shaped brown shell and large flippers that help it sail through the ocean’s depths with ease. The fascinating animal swims up to 35 miles per hour and unfortunately remains on the Endangered Species List following years of over-harvesting during the early 20th century. If catching glimpses of these ancient animals is on your Hawaii vacation to-do list, schedule a boat tour and keep the following information in mind.
Your Guide to Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
Sea vs. Shore
While it’s possible to see Hawaiian green sea turtles sleeping soundly along the coastline, they’re unlikely to venture onshore when lots of people are around. And since the creatures spend the majority of their lives in water, especially the males, your chances of spotting one increase when you are also “at sea.” Snorkeling and scuba diving are two ways to see these beautiful animals, as are boat tours. Honus frequently feast on the algae close to shore and periodically raise their heads out of the water, resulting in amusing sights as you enjoy your boat tour with friends and family.
Whether you see a honu on land or in the water, maintaining a safe distance is essential. These animals are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act as well as the state of Hawaii. Stay at least 10 feet away from the turtles, and never harass, feed, chase, ride, handle, injure, or hunt them. Holding the animals in captivity is also prohibited under federal and state laws. If you break sea turtle laws, you will face fines of up to $100,000 and possible prison time. Show the animals your respect by watching them from afar.
Experience the beauty and majesty of Hawaii through boat tours from Kauai Sea Tours. The Eleele-based tour company makes it easy to enjoy views of sea turtles and other marine life with a variety of boat tour options, including snorkeling, scuba diving, and sunset cruises you’ll never forget. Call (808) 335-5309 to book your tour today or visit the website to learn about rates. See the latest tour pictures on Facebook.