At Poipu beach park recently, where my grandkids were playing – an ancient sea turtle was resting on the beach. A very unusual sight. We often have monk seals, moms and babies, who find Poipu Beach a wonderful place to have a rest (just like us!). Local volunteers will rope off the area with yellow warning tape and post signs to educate visitors as to their need to not be disturbed. If monk seals don’t get their rest on the beach, they won’t be able to survive in the water.
Since my move to Kauai in 2000, I’ve seen many, many monk seals on the beach – but never a Honu (turtle), especially of this size.
Many times tourists are unaware of the seals (or in this case, turtle’s) need for rest and will come too close, or make noise to get a good “shot”. I saw a woman cross the yellow tape and go really close to take pictures. Concerned about the turtle’s protection, I went to talk to her and found out she’s volunteering with DLNR. Her digital photos were emailed immediately to an expert as they were trying to determine if this great-grandma turtle needed help. She said they estimated her age at about 90 years old. There was a crack in her shell, which sometimes is “fixed” with superglue.
I hate to admit it, but I felt a lot of similarities with this great-grandma. Sometimes I wish I could just use some bondo to fix my cracks, too. A little rest on the beach does wonders for this grandma! To share with you the beauty of Poipu beach on a typical Sunday afternoon, following is my YouTube video of the beach and this special honu: