7 mins

Your guide to snorkelling Hawaii's famous Turtle Town

Our featured blogger,Jessica Kleiner, goes in search of sea turtles in Hawaii and finds them. Lots of them.

Turtle in Turtle Town (Jessica Kleiner)

I had come to Hawaii hoping to spot some sea turtles, and Turtle Town sounded like the best place for it. We had already seen two turtles, (known as honus in Hawaii), off the shores of Maui earlier in the week. However, the extremely shallow water made it difficult to actually swim with them – it was more like a "be close but make sure I don't step on them" interaction. Thankfully, Turtle Town exceeded my expectations. It turned out to be the place for sightings of these graceful creatures.

So where is Turtle Town?  I was surprised to learn that it's just a nickname for all the spots along the Makena or Wailea coast where turtle sightings are common. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a single place called Turtle Town. But I did see turtles – quite a few, actually – so I guess the fake name shouldn't really matter!

The most amazing thing about Turtle Town is how incredibly close the sea turtles came near me. In more instances than one, I had to swim away in fear that I would accidentally touch it's fin or shell (a huge no-no in Hawaii). These 'fly-bys' left me breathless, instantly hoping to see more honus in my near future. And I did.

Every time I was about to get out of the water, another turtle swam right by me and I stayed a little longer to watch them glide by. I was the last one left  in the water and it all of my husband's powers of persuasion to get me back on the boat. I could have stayed out there for hours watching the honus, gleefully awaiting the arrival of another.

Many people are unsuccessful in their quest to see turtles. I found that it's important to keep in mind that  turtles hide in caves or under big rocks, and sometimes just sit in the sand on the bottom. They are not always visible at first, and sometimes you must wait patiently for them to come up for air. Look all around you: below, in front, and behind. You never know when they will come up and surprise you.

Our ride back to Maui was an enjoyable one, as we watched the ocean blues change colour with the wind in our hair. The snacks were plentiful with the beers and drinks overflowing. We discovered Longboard Lager, which was deliciously on target. But it is the memory of  my new underwater friends that will stay with me, on the day I fell in love with sea turtles

Jessica KleinerJessica Kleiner | A Passion and a Passport

I'm a speech pathologist by day, travel blogger by night, and traveller by long weekends/vacation time, basically whenever I have a free minute. The aim of my blog is to prove travel is possible with a full-time 9-5.

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