Hawaiian Sea Turtles Up Close and Personal

On our last day in Hawaii we negotiated a late checkout (noon) but still had many hours to kill until our red-eye left just before midnight.  One of the things that we had not yet done was see some Sea Turtles so, after a little research, we visited the Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park which is about 2 miles (3 kilometres) south of the Kona International Airport.  We went into the main area just off of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway but when we said that we were looking for turtles they sent us out to the main highway to enter at the South edge of the park along a road called the Kealakehe Parkway.  Eventually you turn right off of this road in the direction of the Honokohau Beach.

When we got there it only took a few seconds to find some Green Sea Turtles as they were within feet of the shoreline foraging.  It didn’t hurt that there was another person wading only inches from one of the turtles taking pictures.  The turtles did not seem to mind our presence which made taking their picture quite easy.  The hardest part was being ready when they raised their head out of the water for a few seconds every few minutes.

The following three pictures show some different views of the turtles.  The first shows an entire turtle (they are about 3 feet long) at the water’s surface looking for food on the bottom.  The second shows a turtle with head up.  The camera was zoomed in so that only the front half is visible.  Finally, the third turtle was photographed with its head up as well but this time the camera was zoomed in such that the head almost fills the image.

P1130236 - Green Sea Turtle Foraging

P1130259 - Green Sea Turtle Taking a Breath

P1130279 - Green Sea Turtle Up Close

Note that the bottom 2 images were cropped to have an aspect ratio of 1.6 which is common to many computer displays. As a result, both of them make for a pretty cool desktop background or wallpaper!

Enjoy!

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