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Experience Green Sea Turtles While Snorkeling in Lanai, HI; Honu Mythology & Symbolism
Sea turtles (honu) have lived in the earth’s oceans for literally millions of years and have become one of the most beloved of all marine creatures. The Island of Hawaii is renowned for being native to three species of sea turtle, the green, the hawksbill, and the leatherback. The green sea turtle is the most common species of sea turtle found in Hawaiian waters and due to the continued efforts of conservationists, numbers are on the rise. The green sea turtle consumes a diet that is rich in the diverse marine plants and algae that can be found growing in abundance in the shallow waters throughout the island chain. The green sea turtle (chelonian mydas) is one of the largest of all marine turtles weighing 200 to 400 pounds at maturity with an average lifespan of approximately 100 years. The upper shell of the adult turtle is described as dark brown with golden flecks. Every two to five years or so, the adults will swim hundreds of miles to mate and nest. The green sea turtle is named after the color of its fat, which many people believe is due to its diet of algae.
Honu Mythology & Symbolism; Hawaiian Legends of the Green Sea Turtle
Hawaiian folklore and legends told by the elders are full of stories of majestic sea creatures including the green sea turtle named “Kauila” who could transform herself into a girl to watch over children playing on Punalu’u beach. According to some accounts the very first humans to travel to the Hawaiian Islands, the Polynesians were led by huge sea turtles. In ancient drawings, the green sea turtle is often represented in rock carvings.
During ancient times, the chief was bestowed a great honor when he feasted on the flesh of the sea turtle, and in modern times, members of the royal family were served sea turtle as a delicacy. The Hawaiian green sea turtle symbolizes good luck, endurance and a long life. Green sea turtles are thought to be navigators who can always find their way home. It is said that the Hawaiian god of the sea known as Kanaloa often assumed the shape of a sea turtle.
Sailing Tours & Charters in Honolua Bay, Lahaina, Ka’anapali Beach, Turtle Town in Olowalu, Molokai, Lanai, & West Maui, Hawaii
One of the best places on earth to get up close to green sea turtles is located on the northern end of Kaanapali Beach, Maui’s most spectacular snorkeling spot, Black Rock. Not only will you be able to snorkel with green sea turtles, you will also be able to enjoy the view of the locals diving from the top of Black rock. Contact Gemini Sailing Charters today to learn more about our memorable snorkeling and other sailing tours!