A Plethora of Green Sea Turtles!

Today we did some of the things we were originally going to do yesterday afternoon.  The change in plans does mean that our bike ride out to the green sand beach at South Point will have to wait until our next trip, but I suppose it’s good to have something to look forward to.  We started heading north of Kona and stopped near the bay where we had seen the spinner dolphins from the boat yesterday.  We got there just as a huge pod was swimming by on down the coast.  We only caught the tail-end of them, but they were leaping out of the water and seemed to be having a great time.  I know that several times I saw the same dolphin doing 4 leaps in a row.  If only we had gotten there 10 minutes earlier, we would have seen them pass from north to south right in front of the point we were standing on.  At least we got to see them, though.

It turns out that this area, down the road to the Natural Energy Lab, is a great place for whale watching because the shelf drops off into deep water very close to shore.  We spent about 30 minutes or so at this location and saw several whales in that time.  We even saw a whale breach, but the camera was not even close to ready, so we’ll just have to rely on our memories.

NEL_03_whale

From here, we headed on up to ‘Anaeho’omalu Bay where we ate lunch on the beach.  A short walk along the shore brought me to the thing I had missed when we were snorkeling at Kahalu’u Beach Park – Green Sea Turtles!  I love these guys. I just sat for long time looking at them.

A_Bay_turtle_01

A_Bay_turtle_02

A_Bay_turtle_04

A_Bay_turtle_05_Anne

A_Bay_turtle_06_Anne

When we finally moved on, we saw another turtle swimming along the rocks eating the algae.

A_Bay_turtle_07_water

A_Bay_turtle_08_water

A_Bay_turtle_09_water

This was a good sign for snorkeling, so we went ahead and got our gear out of the car.  Unfortunately, the bay itself was incredibly cloudy.  Close to shore, you couldn’t see anything more than 6 inches from your face.  It was very disorienting  and I was freaking out a bit, having trouble controlling my breathing.  My one moment of swimming with the turtles came when I was flailing about trying to calm down; I was about to put my hand on the big rock next to me, and turned my face to see it was a turtle just inches away.  I surfaced quickly, not wanting to disturb it with my hairless beach ape awkwardness.

The water did clear up a bit as we got further from shore and Steve spotted another turtle.

A_Bay_01under

But overall the water was pretty crappy and hard to enjoy.  We didn’t stay in long before deciding to get out and move on.

It was getting close to the end of the day, so we started heading back to Kona, deciding to stop along the way at Kiholo Bay to check out the Queen’s Bath that was supposed to be a short hike down the beach.  Well our short hike turned into a long trek down a pebbly beach that made for very difficult walking.  While we could keep saying maybe it’s around the next point, we finally decided to turn back. Steve joked about how we had probably passed it just at the end of the walking trail before the beach.  Well, it turns out that’s just what we did.  I had reviewed the guide book rather hastily and didn’t register that it was right at the end of that walking path – if you got to the beach, you had gone too far.  I have 2 things to say in my defense. First, when I said it was about 300 yards down the coast, Steve thought that was a much longer distance than it was so we thought we had to go further.  Second, even the guide book said it was easy to miss.  In the future I will take the time to focus on the directions before we head out on our quest.