Close Encounter of the Turtle Kind!!

Hi baby!

Hi baby!

After taking a day off from paddling yesterday, I was more than ready to get back out on the water.  It was a beautiful day, although there was wind already blowing from the south.  Just as I paddled out, I ran into a friend, so we paddled down to the boat ramp together.  As we neared our destination, we saw a hang glider hovering in the area and then my friend saw it land right on top of the Mana Kai!  I was looking for turtles so I missed that.  I spotted a turtle ahead of me so I paddled over, but it dove down and disappeared.  Then we spotted two more turtles out farther.  One of them dashed away, but the other one was very friendly!  A couple more turtles surfaced and one was in front of my friend and the other one popped up behind her!  This time she was in between turtles!  Due to the uncertainty of the wind conditions, my friend decided to paddle north, but I stayed around a bit longer.  Just as she started to paddle back, I spotted a couple of turtles farther north so I paddled over to them.  Suddenly it became six turtles, instead of two and I was surrounded!   I happily sat there in the middle of all those turtles for a few minutes until they all disappeared one by one.  I was going to start paddling back, but then found myself in a turtle triangle and then a few minutes later, two turtles surfaced and I was in between them!  By then, I had counted about sixteen turtles at the boat ramp, and then on my way past Kam III, I ran across another turtle and just had to stop!  I noticed that the wind had intensified and a few white caps were lapping the surface of the water, so I kicked it into gear and paddled against the wind.  Before long, I had caught up to my friend, so we paddled farther north.  We ended up at Cove Park and the wind had changed directions and was now blowing from the south again.  I decided to paddle in and my friend headed towards Kam II,  but suddenly there were two turtles ahead of us, so we paddled over to hang out for a few minutes.  Then I spotted two more turtles out farther and paddled out to them!  Now my turtle count was up to twenty-one for the day!  The wind continued to blow but it didn’t affect my swimming.  Just as I began my swim to the south, a turtle appeared below me and it was swimming north.  I turned around and swam just above it for a while!  Then suddenly it started to surface right in front of me, so I just had to give it a rub on its shell.  This happened a second time and then instead of swimming down, the turtle stopped and turned around and was right next to me within a few inches!  I reached out to rub its shell again, and it floated there and just watched me giving it a loving rub!  I think it was actually enjoying the attention!  Then the turtle swam down and continued to swim north, so I said good-bye and proceeded to swim south.  Down at the reef I saw some assorted tropical fish and then swam back.  I just love days when I get to interact with the turtles!!!

About wildwahinepaddler

I have been happily living on Maui for the past twenty-four years. I have been stand up paddling for over five years. I am married to Bob; have three grown children, five grandchildren,( two grandsons and three grand daughters.) I live in Kihei, on the South shore of Maui, right up the street from Kamaole Beach Park I. I paddle from Kam I almost every morning. I love living the island life and I love sharing my paddling adventures! Come join me! Maui No Ka Oi!
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