A few weeks ago I had the chance to attend a going away beach party at Japanese Beach on the North Shore. The beach party was great, but the underwater party was even better. I brought along my snorkeling gear and GoPro and decided to do some exploring. What we discovered was beyond what we expected. We thought that we would see one, maybe two, turtles if we were lucky. We were more than lucky on this day.
While snorkeling, Joel and I encountered what seemed like a family of turtles. Joel’s 10-year-old nephew, Isaiah, on the other hand, was struggling with his snorkeling gear and fins. He complained that he couldn’t see any of the turtles. During our hour or so of snorkeling, Joel and I saw at least 15 different turtles. Some of these turtles we small, baby turtles, while others were very large and probably very old turtles. These had to be some of the largest turtles that I’ve ever encountered. It was an amazing feeling to swim alongside these gentle creatures.
As we were swimming back to shore, Isaiah, finally encountered a turtle. It got up close and personal. It freaked him out and he quickly swam to me. As he latched on to my leg, he jumped out of the water exclaiming that he finally saw one and that it was huge! He was stoked.
Photos by Joel Sabugo.