Monday, December 13, 2010

A Tail of Two Turtles

Randy and I went to the National Park adjacent to the north side of Honokahau Harbor and walked along the beach for a little break from running errands. We generally make a weekly trip from Ocean View to Kona to stock up for our Leilani Bed & Breakfast guests. It was extremely low tide and we must have seen at least 20 green sea turtles feeding on the bottom of the reef in the shallows. We have been told since that they were all females; the males don't come in close to shore like that.

What we discovered is that they get quite territorial over their terrain of algae, and when another turtle approaches, they position themselves to bite the intruders tail, sending them off in a scurry. At first we thought it was just an isolated incident. Then the more we watched, the more tail biting occurred. Some got quite aggressive and in human terms, seemed even revengeful. Check it out next time you are in the area during a low tide. It was very amusing to watch the different personalities!

Here are the directions from the parks website: "Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is located on the west coast of the island of Hawai'i, approximately 3 miles south of the Keahole International Airport and 3 miles north of the town of Kailua-Kona, on the ocean side of Highway 19." We approached the beach from the north side of the harbor where there is a small parking area and a walk through gate. Here are the directions for that: After you turn into the Harbor road take the first right turn and follow it until you see the Kona Sailing Club. Park in the gravel parking area and look to the right for the park gate. From here it is a 5 minute walk to the south end of the beach. Admission is free.

The whole walk along the beachfront is quite long, perhaps a mile or more. You can also see the Ai’opio Fishtrap. And the whales are just arriving offshore, so it could be a good chance to do some whale watching from shore also.

Enjoy yet another wonderful sight on this island!

Randy and Lynn