Hawaiian green sea turtles—locally known as honu—are one of the most enchanting creatures you're likely to encounter while snorkeling in Kaʽanapali.
Deliberate in their movements and stealthy in their approach, these tropical reptiles have a trademark way of slowly sneaking up behind you.
One moment you're lazily focusing on convict tang nibbling the reef, and the next a 100-pound sea turtle drifts by.
Here, in this chance encounter, time appears to completely stand still. There is a profound moment of mutual curiosity, an awkward yet well-rehearsed breath at the surface, and then the turtle takes off in an aquatic sprint back toward his cave for a nap.
When snorkeling in Kaʽanapali, the best place for encountering sea turtles is in the area around Puʽu Kekaʽa. More commonly known as "Black Rock," this volcanic promontory is covered in seaweed that is the preferred diet of honu.
Early mornings offer the calmest conditions, and since the Hawaiian green sea turtle is federally protected, remember to give them a fairly wide berth and enjoy their beauty from a distance.