Thirteen Turtles and a Fish Tale!!

Fish tale!

Fish tale!

So my day started out with a text from a paddling friend…”Did you hear about the shark attack yesterday?”  Well, no I hadn’t so then I wondered what happened and where and if the beach was closed.  I looked up the beach cam and I didn’t see any evidence that the beach was closed, however I didn’t see anyone out in the water either!  My friend didn’t answer my text, so I headed down to the beach.  It was a gorgeous day with nice paddling conditions and no wind was blowing.  It was a much nicer day than yesterday, but no one was out in the water!  I paddled out and saw my paddling friend, so I paddled over to her, then a big turtle popped up by me!  We talked about the shark attack.  Apparently a twenty year old woman was swimming in Makena (the exact spot that I was snorkeling at on Monday….), and a shark bit her whole arm off at the shoulder!  People heard her screaming and brought her in on a kayak….but she lost consciousness before an emergency vehicle could get there.  They took her to the hospital and there has been no other information about her so far except that she was alive.  Back to the gorgeous day…….my friend and I saw three more turtles before we got out of Kam I, and then while passing Kam III, another turtle surfaced.  That was five turtles before we even got down to the boat ramp!  Paddling into the boat ramp , several turtles surfaced all at once and I counted six turtles.  I recognized one of them as being “Bumpy”….. the friendly turtle….and he sure was!  That turtle bumped right up against my board and practically climbed right on!  I yelled for my friend to look……and then I proceeded to rub its shell (I didn’t have to bend either since he was almost on my board!)  My friend couldn’t believe it!  This has happened before with this particular turtle, but this is the first time I actually had a witness!  We were talking about the turtle encounter, when my friend noticed something out in the water.  She thought it was a plastic bag, and since we try to pick up any trash we see, we paddled out to it.  It was a fish!!!  A big fish that looked to be maybe twenty pounds and it was fresh!  It wasn’t alive but it looked like it had been alive not long ago, so we tried to lift it with our paddles but it was too heavy.  Then I got to a place where I could grab its tail and I hauled it on to my board!  It was heavy!  We paddled back with the fish and my friend came with me to Kam I so we could get some photos of it with my phone.  A bunch of people started to gather around to look at the fish and take pictures.  Some of them asked me how I caught the fish, so I told them I just jumped in and grabbed it!  Now that was a fish “Tale”!  One of the lifeguards came down and looked the fish over and said it was a fresh fish and he helped me carry it up on the sand.  I wrapped it in a towel and put it in my car and drove home so I could put it in the refrigerator.  At home, I wrapped in a trash bag and stuffed it in our frig!  I went back down to the beach and went for my swim and the conditions were still nice.  Later I called a fisherman friend to ask him about the fish.  I texted him a photo of it and he told me it was a “Nenui”….but he said it’s not good for barbecuing and best deep-fried.  Well we don’t “fry”….. so I don’t know yet what to do with that big fish in my refrigerator!  This was truly a Fish Tale today!!!

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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