Monday, October 20, 2008

Green Sea Turtles at Laniakea

One weekend we went to Laniakea Beach (aka Turtle Beach) to see green sea turtles. This beach is well known for surfing, but was made popular in the late 90's when the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle started "sunbathing" on it's beach. Since their debut the sea turtles have made an almost daily appearance at the beach drawing bus loads of tourists from all over the world.

The turtles come up to the shore to eat growing seaweed off the rocks. T
he green sea turtle is a reptile that can live up to 80 years of age. Like other reptiles, the green sea turtle is cold-blooded. So they will sometimes haul themselves up on the beach to bask in the warm Hawaiian sun.

They will generally allow people to get a little close to swim or snorkel in the water. Most are friendly but, there are a few things to keep in mind when swimming with turtles: keep about 10 ft away at all times, do not get between the turtle and the surface - they do need to get to the surface for air, and never touch or try to ride these creatures. This species was listed on the endangered list July 28, 1978 and is enforced by Hawaiian state law.

Below are a few pictures we took that morning.

Directions to Laniakea:

Take H2 til the freeway ends. Continue to follow route past Dole Pineapple Plantation until you come to a stop light. Left will take you to Historic Haliewa, Stay Right and bypass town. You will be heading towards Turtle Bay Resort. Continue on for approx 4 miles. You will see a white fence on the right (horse ranch). Immediately after white fence, you will cross a small bridge and you should park on the right hand side of the road after crossing the bridge. You will see an obvious dirt parking area. The Sea Turtles will be enjoying their day across the street.

There is also a volunteer program in place to help protect the turtles. Various volunteers watch over the turtles during different shifts ensuring they remain unharmed. For more information, click here.