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Honu; Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Lifespan & Other Fun Facts in Olowalu, HI
Gemini Sailing Tours offers several tours, one of which is our snorkel sail adventure, where we take you along West Maui’s coastline. There you will bask in warm waters and witness the sea life in addition to indulging in delicious food and beverages. With the assortment of tropical fish to see, you will enjoy the experience. In addition to the tropical fish, you may be lucky and encounter Hawaiian Green Sea turtle ‘Honu’, an endangered species. With that in mind, we at Gemini Sail Tours would like to share some basic information regarding Honu.
Honu is on U.S. Endangered Species Act List
A truly remarkable creature, the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, or Honu, is a gentle reptile known for their graceful glide abilities as they use their paddle-like flippers to traverse through the ocean. Honu are frequently seen dining on algae close to shore while occasionally bobbing their heads up for air. Being very skilled swimmers, they are still very slow-moving. Local Hawaiians used these turtles and their eggs as a food source, but in the 1800s and 1900s, westerners severely over-harvested when they arrived on the island. The Honu are listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1978 because of the circumstances of the rapid decline in the population. Though their numbers have risen in recent years, they are still listed as an endangered species.
Snorkeling with Sea Turtles
If you are out in the water snorkeling or scuba diving the odds are fairly likely you will see these delightful creatures. The Honu, especially on heavily populated beaches, are not as likely to venture to shore. Their brown shells resemble Hawaii’s large lava rocks, so when they do make their way to land to soak in the sun, they can be difficult to spot. Though they can be seen all around the different Hawaiian Islands, they are most frequently seen on Oahu is at Laniakea Beach on the North Shore.
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Lifespan
Honu, or the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, are considered ancestral deities, or aumakua, to some Hawaiian families. These lovely sea creatures reach lengths of around 3-4 feet and typically weigh between 200 and 500 pounds.
The female honu will head to shore every 2 – 3 years to dig pits in the sand and lay up to 100 eggs after reaching sexual maturity between approximately 25 and 30 years. More than 90% of the females will nest in the French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Honu younglings will eat a variety of food including plants and crustaceans, being omnivorous. By the time the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles reach adulthood, they will primarily feast on algae. Healthy Honu can live 60 – 80 years if they survive predators and the environment. Honu deal with serious environmental threats such as boat propellers, abandoned fishing lines and nets, disease and the destruction of their nesting habitats though they are still a legally protected species.
Maui Snorkel Sail Adventures & More in Honolua Bay, Lahaina, Ka’anapali Beach, Turtle Town in Olowalu, Molokai, Lanai, & West Maui, Hawaii
Gemini Sailing Tours urges you to remember to respectfully admire these gorgeous creatures from a considerable distance whether you are on land or in the sea if you are among the lucky few to witness the gentle giants. Book a Maui Snorkel Sail Adventure or other sailing tour today!