Every time I've gone to Hawaii, the one thing I hear everyone talk about is the turtles. "Oh, you've got to see the turtles!" "We saw the turtles yesterday." "Have you seen the turtles yet?"
Turtles, turtles, turtles.
Well, so far, I've been shut out on the whole turtle thing. Even though it sounds like the entire area must be practically crawling with them and EVERYONE else has seen them...I always managed to just miss them.
On my last trip to Maui, we even picked one of our boat trips because it was supposed to make a stop at "Turtle Town." I mean, a whole town of turtles, right? I couldn't POSSIBLY not see a turtle! Except...by the time we were supposed to do that part of the trip, the weather had turned a bit iffy so the boat captain opted to take us to an alternate site. And although we saw many wonderful things...no turtles.
So, this trip, I was determined. I was going to see a turtle if it was the last thing I did! And it very nearly turned out that way! After several days of trying multiple spots and hearing the same thing "Oh, the turtles were JUST here." "Oh, they came yesterday." "Come back this afternoon - they are ALWAYS here at 3 PM." Except...we went back and they weren't there...
After several days of this, even Ryan was beginning to talk about my "turtle curse." Every time someone would helpfully volunteer turtle-sighting information, Ryan would pipe right up and tell them how we hadn't seen any because his mother was cursed. He even ended up telling the van tour driver/guide during our trip to Lana'i. We stopped at the island's general store during the tour and the driver suddenly gave Ryan a small turtle made out of polished stone as a souvenir. All the way back on the boat and that evening at the hotel, he joked about how maybe this was just what I needed to break my curse.
The next day, we headed back to our nearby snorkel spot at Black Rock...and everyone said "OH...you JUST MISSED the turtles! They came right up on the beach here." Geez! I was starting to feel like the guys in "Endless Summer" who, every time they show up at a new beach looking for waves, get told by the locals "You guys REALLY missed it! You shoulda been here yesterday!"
So, I resigned myself to once again having missed out on the turtles, put on my snorkel gear, grabbed the underwater camera and headed out for more fish pictures.
And then it happened...TURTLES! Three of them came swimming right in amongst all the people in the water. They are amazingly unafraid of people and will swim right up to you. Also...they are HUGE! Much bigger than I expected. After finally overcoming my shock, I got busy snapping photos right away:
They are like birds underwater...almost looks like they are flying...
They came in to eat these tiny little scraps of weeds that were growing on the bottom.
This guy was nice enough to pose perfectly for me.
I also took some video because I really thought that the way they move underwater was so amazing. I apologize for the shakiness - you can tell my adrenaline was really pumping!
Ryan, of course, took all the credit as he explained to me that he just KNEW his little turtle statue was what broke my turtle curse and that he knew all along it would work. After this, we saw turtles several more times at Black Rock and at Napili Bay so who knows...maybe he was right!