Life Changing Snorkel With Turtle On Maui

by Nancy
(Seattle, WA)

I took a trip to Maui by myself a couple of years ago. I had no snorkel buddy and so stuck to the "tamer" snorkel sites for the most part. I started out at Ulua Beach, where I had snorkeled several times on previous trips. It's a rocky point between Ulua and Mokapu Beaches, just into the Makena area from Kihei.

I had always been timid about snorkeling all the way around the point to the Mokapu side in the past, so decided I would push past my discomfort and "go all the way around". I was so glad I did! As I rounded the point, I spotted a small female green turtle lodged in the coral at the bottom in about 15' of water. She was well camouflaged and I kind of stumbled upon her. I stayed and watched her for a bit. A few other snorkelers came and went.

This is where I learned that sea turtles will lodge themselves in between corals to rest. I had never heard or read that before. I had been with her for a while and as I watched her, I actually began to worry a bit. Maybe she was stuck? Maybe I should alert the PWF naturalist at the beach? LOL I feel so silly now.

Suddenly she freed herself and began to swim. She and I commenced to have the most splendid dance together in the water... her coming to me and then moving away, coming back to look at me and then circling around me, away from me and back to me. She was a beautiful, young turtle who was clearly curious about me and interacting with me.

It was one of the best and sweetest moments of my life. After a while she decided to go back to her resting spot. I watched as she lodged her shell back into the open space between two corals. As I finally tore myself away and moved on around the point I realized that my life had changed, for I had had a very special and intimate dance with a Greenie.

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Jun 11, 2012
by: Galen & Nicole

That is a beautiful story. It had us both smiling from ear to ear for you. And the funny thing is that the fifth picture down on our Maui snorkeling page, of the turtle tucked under the coral, is from Ulua/Mokapu Beach. Maybe it is even the same turtle?

Nov 24, 2012
Dancing with Turtle
by: Beverly Sensiba

I loved your story because it reminded me of a similar one I had. My daughter had arranged a sailing trip in the Virgin Islands and although we snorkeled many sites and had dolphins frolicking along side the boat under sail, my personal highlight was my Dance with a Turtle.

We were each snorkeling on our own and I saw this big gorgeous turtle below me and started following her. She seemed to notice me after a few moments and - like yours - circled around a bit and we let the waves rock us back and forth. After a few minutes she decided she had enough and swam faster than I could keep up with. I felt we had a real connection during our Dance and this encounter is still fresh in me and is where I go when my mind wants to refresh and relax.

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