Friday, October 16, 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja ... No

Turtle? YES!

Don’t you just love it when time and tide work out in your favor? It did for me yesterday.

The wife and I did an early-afternoon walk at Magic Island; we wanted to walk in the morning, but we had too many other errands and appointments that needed paying attention to first.

Then, when we were walking, we took a while to sit on a bench and just gaze out at the ocean, watching the ships and boats and barges and airplanes and parasailers do their thing, for about 10 minutes or so.

Instead of taking the paved walkway leading back into the park, we walked along the cement walkway at water’s edge. Just ahead of us, a few tourists tossed leis into the water (in hopes, I presume, that they would wash back to shore indicating the tourists would return to Hawaii).

I got ready to take a picture of one of the leis, when I saw a huge green turtle (honu) surface next to it. It must have had at least a three-foot carapace. One of the tourists excitedly exclaimed that it surfaced to look at the lei. As for me, I wasn’t able to get a picture of the turtle since my camera was still booting up. That’ll teach ME to turn it off during my walk, huh?

We waited around; watching the turtle nibble seaweed (limu) off the rocks underwater, then disappear over and over again in the veil of bubbles caused by waves crashing against the rocks.

Suddenly, it resurfaced and I managed to snap a quick shot, but was too late to photograph it when it poked its head out of the water. Here’s the shot I came away with:

It’s the best I could do, as the turtle never resurfaced. I got to thinking: If we hadn’t had all those appointments in the morning, if we hadn’t sat on a bench for 10 minutes, and if we hadn’t done our little detour, we would have missed that rare glimpse of this wonderful Hawaiian totem (aumakua) in the wild.

As for the lei, they washed along the sea wall and headed in toward Ala Moana Beach. So I guess the tourists WILL be returning to Hawaii after all.


Rebecca said...

Amazing! I didn't throw a lei in the water back when I visited. Whoops! I hope I can come back anyway. :)

casch said...

How cool was that!!