Honu is the Hawaiian name for the Green Sea Turtle. They are the most prevalent sea turtles in the Islands of Hawaii. It’s not uncommon to stumble upon them while you’re snorkeling, surfing, or just relaxing on the beach. I had been meaning to photograph them ever since I set foot on the island. Whether I was surfing, cliff jumping, or snorkeling, they seemed to appear only at times when I did not have my camera ready and nearby.

There had to be somewhere on the Island of Oahu where I could find a bunch of sea turtles in one place. So I did what I do best, I surfed Instagram hashtags, blog comments, and asked the locals. In the end, I pinned my location down to a small beach on the North Shore called Laniakea Beach. There are several beaches officially and unofficially nicknamed “Turtle Beach”, but this one lived up to its name 100%!

Just as we arrived, we spotted a pair of sea turtles biting at the algae covered shore break. Overwhelmed with excitement, we quickly geared up with our masks, snorkels, and fins. There must’ve been about a dozen turtles all around. They each came and went with the wave brake, surfing the under barrels and nonstop feeding, taking their mouths off the sea weed only to come up to the surface for air.

It’s fun when curiosity comes from both sides and the turtles accept your company. Moments like this don’t come around too often. An Argentinian family snorkeling alongside us ecstatically looked at us and said “en tu vida se te oldiva!”, which means, “you can never forget this!”… they were right.

© 2016 Miguel Toralba. All Rights Reserved