Turtle Petting Zoo and a Beach Closure!!!

Here turtle, turtle!

Here turtle, turtle!

Well, the VOG was out there again today, but there were also some high wispy clouds that looked very much like winter (a Maui winter of course…..!).  The wind was not blowing at all and paddling down to the boat ramp was hot!  Just as I entered the area, I spotted two turtles to my right so I paddled over.  The two turtles were just lounging around and I had one on each side of me.  Then one of the turtles came right over to my board and started rubbing its shell against my board!  I think it was actually just floating really close and bumping it, the turtle was staying right next to me, so I reached over and rubbed its shell!  It poked its head out of the water and looked over at me and then continued to hang by me!  Then it swam under me.  I paddled farther south and was surprised by three turtles!  I sat in between them for the longest time, and then one of those turtles (a smaller one)…..swam right up to my board and did the same thing as the other friendly turtle, floating and lightly banging into my board!  So I reached over and rubbed its shell too!  It just stayed there floating and seemed to be enjoying the attention.  The turtles reminded me of little dogs, waiting to be petted!  I don’t ever chase the turtles and try to touch them, but when they come right up to me like that, I will pet them.  Two more turtles surfaced and I counted seven turtles at the boat ramp!  The surface of the water changed slightly making me think about wind, so I started paddling back. Thankfully, it was a lot cooler going back with a breeze blowing in my face!  Just as I was passing Kam II, I ran into a paddling friend and we chatted for a few minutes and the wind backed off completely and it was glassy again.  I decided to do some paddling sprints, so I sat down on my board and paddled.  Suddenly I looked over to my left side, and there was a turtle keeping up with me, popping its head up and down!  I stopped for a minute and so did the turtle, then it circled me and disappeared.  That made eight turtles for today!   I paddled in anticipating a nice swim until the lifeguard made an announcement on the beach that there had been a shark attack farther north and the beach was closed!  In his announcement, he also said that Kam II was open for swimming, so I grabbed my snorkel gear and my backpack an headed on foot to Kam II!  Just as I arrived there, Kam II was closed now too!  I was really bummed out.  I walked back to Kam I and took a shower and called it a day.  Why is it that every time something happens and the beach gets closed, it is always on a really nice calm day???  I sure hope I get to swim tomorrow!

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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