Next to the Waikiki Aquarium, Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore is your best guarantee for sea turtle spotting. However at Laniakea, the honu is in its natural environment and can be found sunning themselves on the golden sands of this small strip of beach found somewhere between Haleiwa’s Puaena Beach Park and Waimea Bay. While theories abound as to why the honu prefer this beach to any other on Oahu, much of the reason can be found in the form of the deep green seaweed – a favorite food of theirs – that collects on the shoreline. If you’ve never seen or experienced sea turtles in their natural habitat before, this is where you go. Do it once, check it off of your itinerary, then move on to explore less crowded slices of paradise throughout the island.
Due to a few too many visitors in the past seeking a “hands-on” experience, a local Sea Turtle Protection organization has been established on site where volunteers take turns at 4-hour shifts, placing a rope in a radius around each beached turtle to ensure that onlookers stay just that. Unfortunately on the rare occasion when volunteers miss duty (extreme weather conditions, etc…), a few visitors devoid of common sense continue to overstep the boundaries between man and nature and ruin it for the rest of us, so please do stay vigilant (with words) if you should see such a behavior and alert Malama Na Honu next door to the beach. The organization is always on the look out for volunteers so if you have the time and you fit the bill please do contact Malama Na Honu to see if there is a way you too can contribute to protecting the honu. Otherwise, from a respectful distance please feel free to snap photos and pose questions to the volunteers to learn more about Laniakea’s favorite residents and to inquire if there is any way that you can aid in this well worthy project to protect one of Hawaii’s most endearing natives.
images: property of @marcus_ocean