And an earlier blog, from an earlier trip to Hawaii, started to explain why turtles are relevant to CFIDS (for now I'll just say that they are very relevant in my case and that I'll post more about that in the future). If this is not the first post you've read, you can probably guess that I was reeeaaaaalllly excited to see them two days in a row.
There were fewer people there the second day, which was nice. Jenni dropped me off at the turtle beach to go farther north along the north (Oahu) shore. I brought snorkel gear with me Tuesday because I had seen snorkelers the day before and the water was fairly full of turtles. There were always at least a few visible in the water along shore.
Wednesday, though, there were only a couple of people in the water and no turtles visible from shore. I asked the volunteers how hard it was to keep a respectful distance once in the water. They said it was pretty hard but not a problem....the turtles get curious and get close to snorkelers when they are curious and become hard to get away from. So I had to give it a try.
Once in the water, it was very hard to see beyond my arms in some areas, and even where visibility was better I couldn't see far enough to be comfortable. Each big rock kind of made me jumpy and I felt like I was spending all of my energy convincing myself I wasn't nervous (I'm not an experienced snorkeler or swimmer or ocean person). I was fairly close to shore where I could see the turtle watchers and they could see me, but still, I didn't last more than 15 minutes before I just felt like I should get out.
The next day I just happened to meet a woman from Sydney who had been snorkeling along a different part of the same bay, really not far from where I had been. She was with a guide and a group. She was disappointed when there were no turtles in the water, but excited when the guide explained that a very large tiger shark was the reason. She was even more excited when they saw it. She said its jaws were enormous. I was very glad to have gone ashore.
So the highlights from my time with the turtles that day:
I felt like a normal person (felt envigorated and not sick).
I got into a lengthy discussion about grizzly bears with a European living in Canada.
The Euro-Canadian and I kept serendipetously happening upon turtles that were repositioning, opening their eyes, and lifting their heads.
I am very glad not to have seen the tiger shark under those conditions.
The wind was warm and wonderful.
The sun on the turtles' backs was amazing. Each turtle was radiant.
The name cards before each few pictures indicate which turtle is shown; two of them were there Tuesday, but Missy was new.
I love aerial maps. This map is what I found before our first trip to Oahu and it didn't help me find where on the island to go, but when I talked to locals and we got to that section of road I could tell right away I was in the right spot (Laniakea) because of the aerial photo. Also a good description of the relationship between humans and Hawaiian green sea turtles compared to other places.
I don't know if this link is current or accurate, but I just stumbled across this: development planned in Turtle Bay (I sure hope not)