Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
Seeing Turtles in the Wild!
On board the Maui Magic Adventure Snorkel, we get the pleasure of enjoying two snorkel destinations in one trip! Our second spot picked by the captain, typically allows you to swim with sea turtles in Maui. Get a chance to see them in water and their natural environment, while you snorkel. One of the thrills of snorkeling in the beautiful waters of Hawaii is getting to see and swim with the majestic Hawaiian Green sea turtles.
Unlike most other snorkel tours the Maui Magic gives you premier access to spots where these interactions and swimming with turtles are frequent encounters. Places along the south Maui coastline like, Turtle Town, (known for being home to many sea turtles), or Turtle Arches also known as “five caves” named for the large coral archways that provide shelter for a healthy population of fish and turtles.
Dating back to 150 million years old, they are truly one of Mother Nature’s ancient mariners. As graceful as they are powerful, getting to view them in their natural habitat is a unique experience. The sea turtles tend to hang out in the water close to the shoreline where their favorite limu (seaweed) grows on the lava rocks. This is why places like La Perouse, Makena, and Pu’Olai are popular destinations in Maui we pick to snorkel at.
The sea turtle’s body is wonderfully adapted to life in the ocean. Their shells are lighter and more streamlined than those of their land-loving cousins. These graceful swimmers usually spend their day floating at the top of the water to soak up the warm sun, feeding on algae, and being groomed by small fish. Turtles can surface frequently to breathe. Although when resting, they can stay down under the water for more than two hours, giving you plenty of opportunities to see turtles while snorkeling!
Protected & Respected
Most people ask, “Can you touch sea turtles”? Hawaiian green sea turtles in Maui are a protected species and it is illegal to touch the sea turtles while snorkeling. As with all wild animals, we are in their environment and we do not want to harass or invade them in any way. We ask that you respect their space and view the sea turtles from a distance. This information also applies if you are swimming with dolphins in Maui.
Interesting Facts about Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
- The name “green sea turtle” comes not from the color of their shell, but rather the color of their body fat caused from their diet.
- Hawaii’s green sea turtles migrate up to 700 miles along the coastline of theHawaiian Islands..
- A nesting female will come ashore up to five times every 15 days to lay eggs.
- Green sea turtles become sexually mature at around 25-35 years.
- Young turtles head straight for the ocean after hatching.
- Four of the seven existing species can be found in Hawaiian waters.
- The lifespan for Hawaiian green sea turtles is estimated to be around 60-70 years.
- These gentle giants can reach weights up to700 pounds!