As a kid, my husband wanted to be a marine biologist. In his pre-Army life, he was a licensed scuba diver. Even now, he’s studying Environmental Science in college and wants to work in the surf and sand after he leaves the Army. So, it’s no surprise to me that Andy’s top “must-do” activity in Hawaii was seeing the sea turtles!
Towards the beginning of our week in paradise, we felt sure that we’d stumble upon them somewhere, but by Thursday, when we still hadn’t seen any sea turtles, we knew we’d need to be more proactive in finding them. So I Googled “Sea Turtle Beach on Oahu” and learned that Laniakea Beach in Haleiwa, on the North Shore, was the location for sea turtle sightseeing. So off we went!
Laniakea Beach is a small, unmarked beach on the side of the road that would be easy to miss if it weren’t for the dozens of cars parked along the side of Kamehameha Highway and tourists running through heavy traffic. It’s a somewhat rocky beach and, due to the lack of facilities, not exactly a place to spend an entire day. But snorkeling with the honu (sea turtles) was such a magical experience that you’d want to!
It’s illegal to disturb the sea turtles, so volunteers mark a 10-foot buffer around the sea turtles that are on the beach. You can see the buffer rope behind us in our selfie. It’s hard to stay 10-feet away in the water with the waves pushing you and the sea turtles swimming, but we did our best to give them a buffer there as well. Unfortunately, some tourists were blatantly disturbing the honu (don’t be those people!!!)
Unlike my husband, I’m not much of a snorkeler. I hate getting my hair and face wet, and certainly do not go completely underwater. But even I loved snorkeling with the sea turtles! (You can see some sea turtle footage at the 2:40 mark in my Hawaiian Babymoon Video.)
Snorkeling with the sea turtles was one of the highlights of our Hawaiian vacation– I’m so glad we finally found them!