Las Tortugas

Lahaina, HI

Happily we slept great on our Murphy bed last night and woke up at a “normal” time of 7:30am. Getting that jet lag under control…

We ate breakfast (cranberry juice, bananas, shredded wheat, and lots of coffee on our lanai (pronounced lah-nigh) or balcony. It is impossible to sit out and not look into the mesmerizing ocean. Unbelievably, from nine floors up we spotted a large turtle lazily swimming past our building. We are excited to start snorkeling, but first we want to do a little exploring. Time for a walk to check out the area.

First we walked north – not much to see that way and the sidewalk soon ended. We were gone long enough that we returned to the condo to grab water bottles and hats. Did we think of sunscreen? Nooo…
We walked south for about 1-1/4 miles and ended up back at the grocery store we visited yesterday. We took this opportunity to buy some fresh flowers…here is a photo of Jeff carrying them back.

Jeff carrying flowers

I also picked up a bunch of postcards hoping that if I get them in the mail soon I won’t beat them back to the mainland.

Finally we got home, slathered on the sunscreen, and it was time to hit the water. Before we could get out the door we heard one of our neighbors calling down to the shore “There’s a turtle right behind you!” We rush to the balcony and looked down. Sure enough, a turtle was swimming past and this one was huge!

Our location is so wonderful. We go down to the lobby and out the back door to the surf and sand. We headed down right away. It took us only seconds to gear up and get in.

It was AWFUL!!! Some of the worst snorkeling we’ve experienced! The water was terribly murky and I told Jeff that the only way I was going to see a turtle was if it swam up and introduced itself. We snorkeled out further from the shore – still murky; we swam south toward some mossy rocks – murky and rocky; we headed back toward the sandy area where we had seen the two swimming turtles from above. Nada. We had been in quite a while. Jeff got out and I snorkeled a little more. When I raised my head once a nearby woman called to me ” Did you see the turtle?” “No! I didn’t.” She pointed at me and said “it’s right in front of you!” So I stuck my head in, looked down, looked around and around, up and down. No turtle. Stupid amphibians.

I got out, very reluctantly. We sat on our towels to dry and later noticed a woman frantically waving to someone on shore. Yes, she has spotted a turtle. Well, by now we were dry and we knew by the time we geared back up and got into the water the turtle would be gone.
We watched for five or seven minutes and the woman was still hovering in that same spot. Then we noticed her companions on shore waving to her and pointing very close to shore – there was another one! Okay, this got us up and moving!

We got into the very rocky area…big, slick, moss covered rocks, and, holy mackerel, THAT rock just moved!!! Huge turtle! The water was still terribly murky so the turtle just popped into sight and we were WAY to close. Jeff tried to turn and his foot made contact with the shell. As the surf pulled me out, the turtle, who was feeding, swam forward. Suddenly it and I were practically nose to nose – and I have the picture to prove it!

nose to nose
Nose to Nose!

Talk about a close encounter! I can’t believe I had the presence of mind to swing the camera up and click – no viewfinder check, just wild clicking. Then there was another turtle – this one was massive – probably 5 feet across. Now I seriously can’t tell what is turtle and what is rock. Raising my head I see both Jeff and our mystery turtle-spotting lady gesturing below themselves at other turtles. Because of the poor water quality it was impossible to see las tortugas unless you were within 6-9 inches of them – exhilarating and a wee bit frightening at the same time.

Jeff called out that he was getting bashed and scrapped up by the rocks; I was pooped trying to maintain my equilibrium in the surf – we headed for shore. Back to our towels to sit in the sun and dry. We sat and talked about our fun when someone called out. Looking up we saw a turtle coming on shore! Unbelievable!

Naturally we walked over (no need to scurry, because, you know, it IS a turtle. LOL) we got some wonderful photos and I have a very short video of it’s movement up the sand.


We chatted with a local person and learned that the turtles often come ashore on this beach to sleep during the afternoon and at night. Lucky us!

Back upstairs to shower off and make dinner. Jeff took some salmon (yes, I know…we are in Hawaii and eating Alaskan salmon…) down to the grill while I baked our 2 potatoes in the microwave and steamed some broccoli. Dinner with a glass of wine was the perfect way to wind up our day.

Tomorrow we are planning to snorkel at some other beaches and we might make a serious attempt to find the converter we need to move photos from our cameras to our IPads so you will be able to enjoy our photos.

Between the walk this morning and the snorkeling all afternoon we are beat. A 9:30 bedtime doesn’t seem too early at all.

Jeff enjoying the sunset
Jeff enjoying the sunset

I hope you are enjoying reading about our trip and will come back tomorrow to see what we have been doing.





2014 Adventures                            Back                             Honolua Bay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *