I really like sea turtles and I like to snorkel. But one way or the other, these two issues have by no means managed to collide with one another. I’ve been on quite a few snorkeling journeys, leading to sea turtle sightings for others within the group. However for me? Nope.

So once I noticed a brochure for Turtle Canyon on a latest journey to Honolulu, Hawaii, I jumped on the likelihood to as soon as once more strive my hand at getting a glimpse of the elusive sea turtle in its pure habitat.

Located on the island of Oahu’s south shore, the world-famous neighborhood of Waikiki is greatest recognized for its well-known white sand seashore, high-rise inns, and designer retailers that line Kalakaua Avenue. It’s additionally among the finest locations for snorkeling with turtles in Oahu on the unimaginable Turtle Canyon. 

Turtle Canyon is a nature protect and snorkeling web site recognized for the massive numbers of sea turtles that float above the reef whereas the reef fish swim round them and clear their shells. It’s principally a automobile wash for turtles! When the turtles come as much as breathe, they’ll even be seen by spectators stress-free on the boat!

The Turtle Canyon reef fashioned 1000’s of years in the past when volcanic exercise was rife in and round Oahu — evidenced by the massive lava-formed, rock-encrusted fingers rising from the shallow shores of Waikiki. Small boulders, coral heads, and loads of sand between these rocky fingers make nice houses for every kind of marine life. Whereas this web site and its spectacular geological formations appeal to aquatic life, it’s not full of colourful coral like Hanauma Bay, one other fashionable snorkeling spot on Oahu. Right here the turtles are the star.

At round 20 to 45 toes deep, Turtle Canyon is slightly deep for snorkelers, however you received’t be dissatisfied. The crystal-clear water has glorious visibility, my husband and I had no hassle seeing the sandy backside of the canyon, and turtles typically come as much as the shallows swimming amongst snorkelers seemingly with out worry.

Woman snorkeling in Oahu

A lady snorkeling in Oahu

Photograph credit score: Benny Marty / Shutterstock.com

1. Rent A Tour Operator

There are quite a few tour operators in Oahu operating journeys to Turtle Canyon and so they all depart from Kewalo Basin Boat Harbor. I’d suggest taking a cab or Uber to the marina. In case you drive, parking is $1 per hour, and pay machines settle for money and bank cards. Please discuss with the Kewalo Basin Boat Harbor Map for parking areas.

Professional Tip: Parking is extremely restricted, so when you determine to drive, enable your self loads of time to search out parking and get to the boat. 

2. What To Convey

Sunscreen is a should and it must be reef-friendly to adjust to Hawaii’s legal guidelines. Apply it liberally. The solar’s rays can penetrate the water once you’re snorkeling, leaving you with a nasty sunburn when you neglect this step.

Drinks and refreshments offered on excursions range extensively from operator to operator. I all the time like having a water bottle and a few gentle snacks with me, simply in case. A towel is good to dry off after snorkeling, and a coverup got here in helpful for the windy journey again to the harbor. You probably have one, a dry bag is a good place to retailer these things and safe automobile keys when you’ve pushed. A digital camera is good to have — we used a GoPro to get some enjoyable movies of the turtles swimming round us. 

Sea turtle swimming in Oahu

A view of a sea turtle from the water’s floor

Photograph credit score: Wolfgang Hauke / Shutterstock.com

3. Snorkeling Suggestions

Snorkeling is fairly straightforward to study, even for a whole novice. Guides will overview the fundamentals and some security objects, and also you’ll be within the water in minutes. All the obligatory tools, masks, fins, and flotation units, can be offered by the tour operator.

Most excursions provide in-water guides who can help snorkelers with tools or level out turtles and different marine life within the space. 

Professional Tip: To see as a lot marine life as potential, it’s greatest to swim to a spot away from others, then chill out and float face down. Kicking and thrashing within the water will startle most marine life, and also you’ll have a a lot better expertise observing calmly and quietly.

4. Keep away from Seasickness

Nothing will destroy your enjoyable like a bout of seasickness. Typically, the ocean is calm close to Waikiki. Nonetheless, if you’re vulnerable to seasickness or aren’t used to being aboard ocean-going boats, it could be a good suggestion to speak with the pharmacist about preventative measures.

As I’ve gotten older, I are inclined to really feel dizzy whereas snorkeling. I usually take Dramamine about an hour or so beforehand to keep away from any likelihood of feeling ailing.

Sea turtle swimming in Oahu

A sea turtle swimming in Turtle Canyon

Photograph credit score: Bryce Potter / Shutterstock.com

5. Turtle Etiquette

It’s essential to do not forget that once you enter the water, you might be coming into the turtle’s house. 

As a visitor, it’s best to intention to not disturb, frighten, or hurt the turtle. To make sure this, you could comply with a couple of easy pointers. Don’t pet or contact the animal in any manner. It’s not solely dangerous kind; it’s unlawful as sea turtles are protected underneath federal regulation. Touching the turtle may be traumatic for the animal and may end up in a really stiff tremendous in Hawaii. 

Don’t feed sea turtles. The meals you provide the turtle could possibly be dangerous to the turtle and damage the turtle’s short-term well being. Additionally, if the turtle will get used to getting meals from people, it may possibly result in habituation, interfering with its capacity to acquire meals.

Professional Tip: We booked the final tour of the day. A lot of the different tour boats left the realm earlier than our snorkeling time was over, permitting us to benefit from the house with fewer individuals for the latter a part of our tour.

After you’ve gotten your fill of snorkeling, you’ll be able to climb again on the boat and prepare for a beautiful trip again to the harbor, cruising alongside Waikiki’s beautiful shoreline. We loved unbelievable views of Diamond Head and even noticed some spinner dolphins.

All instructed, we noticed over ten completely different turtles. One swam towards me, peering at me with curiosity. The encounter made me marvel who was observing who. Turtle sightings are virtually assured at this spot, and lots of tour operators provide to reschedule prospects without cost in the event that they don’t see one throughout their journey.

If you wish to swim with sea turtles, I like to recommend visiting Turtle Canyon on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. My husband and I had a superb afternoon and I can lastly say I swam with sea turtles.

For extra data on touring to Oahu, try these articles:

Source link