Posted by: kauaikolea2 | March 16, 2012

Honu — The Turtles of Hawaii

They lived through the age of the dinosaurs.  They survived the Earth’s age of ice.  Sea turtles have been swimming the oceans for more than 200 million years.  For the first time in all these millennia, 6 of 7 species are either endangered and on the verge of extinction, or threatened to become endangered.

In Hawaii, legend tells about a green sea turtle, Kailua, who could change herself into a girl to watch over the children playing at Punalu’u Beach on the Big Island.  When Kauila’s mother dug her nest, a fresh water spring surged upward, quenching the children’s thirst.  Kaulia is the “mythical mother” of all turtles.  It is also legend that the turtles were the guides for the first voyagers to Hawaii.

These turtles, which can weigh up to 400 pounds, are primarily vegetarians.  They eat algae or limu (Hawaiian seaweed) growing underwater on coral reefs and on rocks close to shore.  Green turtles prefer to live near large pastures of limu that are located near shore waters around the Hawaiian Islands.  In the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, male and female green turtles crawl onto beaches and lie motionless for hours in the sunlight.  They bask in the sun to increase their body temperatures or to avoid tiger sharks when the water gets cloudy.  Sometimes, you can see turtles in the enclosed Queen’s bath by the heiau, which is an easy walk from our condos.

You may encounter the hawksbill turtle on shore when they come up to lay eggs (both male and female turtles will come ashore for the event), but this species lives in deep water.  The turtles you will most likely encounter while snorkeling — and this is an event not to be missed — are the green sea turtles.  You can be floating on the water, enjoying the seascape, and a large turtle will come gliding by you.  As they do breathe air (although they can stay submerged for a long time), sometimes you can  witness and hear they break the surface of the water, loudly exhale and inhale, and dive back down under.  Remember, please, to simply enjoy their beauty and gracefulness under water and do not attempt to grab onto their shells or otherwise annoy or hurt them.

Come, stay with Hula Now at one of our affordable luxury Kauai vacation rentals.  You can see all our rentals at our website:


Islander on the Beach

Unit 111: Partial Ocean View – Ground floor – 2 Full Beds

Unit 170: Partial Ocean View – Ground floor – 2 Full Beds

Unit 222: Almost Ocean Front – Second Floor – Queen Bed

Unit 250: Ocean Front – Second Floor – King Bed

Unit 361: Ocean View – Third Floor – King Bed

Kauai Beach Resort

Unit 1317: Lagoon/Partial Ocean View – Third Floor – King Bed

Kapaa Sands

Unit 7: Ocean Front Coastal Views – Second Floor – Queen Bed

Unit 9: Ocean Front Coastal Views – Second Floor – Queen Bed



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