The VOG was worse today and even the mountains were hard to see while the island of Lanai was completely invisible. The trade winds have not returned enough to blow the VOG away so we are stuck with it for now. At least the conditions continue to be perfect for paddling! Just as I started out today, a turtle surfaced ahead of me so I paddled to it, but it dove down and I didn’t want to wait around to see if it was going to surface again. I headed towards the boat ramp and I began to cough a little, thanks to the VOG. I sure hope the trade winds come back soon! Since it was Sunday, there were quite a few boats and jet skis coming in and out of the boat ramp and there were a couple of snorkelers out there too. I waited for a while and the turtles weren’t coming up right away, so I wondered if I would see any today. Suddenly a turtle surfaced by me and hung out for a while, popping its head up to take a few breaths of air. A few more turtles appeared and I was surrounded by five turtles! Then a kayak with a man and a woman on it paddled over. The man said hello and then he asked me if I recognized them. He proceeded to tell me that they were crew on the pontoon snorkel boat, but I really didn’t recognize them! They clearly knew who I was though so we hung out and chatted for a bit. We had quite a few turtles surfacing and we were enjoying them and then the couple paddled away. Now I had all the turtles to myself! I stayed down at the boat ramp for quite a while until I had counted sixteen turtles! The conditions were still perfect as I paddled back and just as I was paddling past Kam III, I ran into a paddling friend. We stopped and chatted for a while and watched five more turtles surface! The last one was a really little turtle and I knew it was going to “freak” when I paddled up next to it….and it did, splashing and diving down under the water! We paddled back together and the day was so nice that we paddled all the way down past Charley Young beach and hung out. When the conditions are this perfect, it sure is hard to make the decision to come in! I did want to get my swim in too, so I paddled in. Down at the reef I was enjoying the fish and then suddenly they were darting away. Then I noticed a free diver with a sling spear! He was scaring all the fish away and even worse, he was hanging onto the coral in order to stay down! I wanted to yell at him for messing with the coral, but then I decided that I didn’t want to be around someone with a sling spear at all! I swam back a bit disappointed. Hopefully tomorrow I won’t encounter any divers at my reef! It sure was a beautiful Sunday, though, despite the vog in the air and at least I got to visit with twenty-two turtles!