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After diving with Miss Piggy I began to figure out
that the reason the turtles of Kohala were always swimming
away from me wasn't because of my presence or the noise
of breathing with scuba equipment, but the excitement
I would feel inside upon seeing them.

Another clue to this fact was a dive I went on one night with
some friends that were hunting parrot fish for a barbecue
the next day. The song of the Humpback Whales was
incredibly audible that night so I wandered down over the
drop off a bit to see if I could see anything.

At about 60 feet I came across a great rock and pearched
myself atop it. As I peered into the dark depths, I tried to
imitate "the song" through my regulator which probably
made a terrible racket. After about 10 minutes I decided I
had better get back to the group. As I arose, I looked down
to see this huge turtle nestled in the coral just below my
rock! All of the noise I'd been making hadn't bothered him in
the least but with my cognition of him, he rose up and with
a couple motions of his flippers, he was gone.

As soon as I learned to stay calm and not focus on them too
much, they began to hang around longer and I started
getting some really beautiful shots.

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South Kohala is well known for it's abundance of green sea turtles. The area just south of Puako Bay has a paritcularly unique reef structure. After kicking out some distance over the shallow reef you arrive at at a 15 to 20 foot drop offs separated like avenues by long 15 foot high fingers of coral, lava tubes and archways. A seascape of coral graduates down to about 75 feet after which a sandy sea bottom slopes radically downward.

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We are almost certain to see two or more turtles swimming
or rather invisibly nestled between coral heads between 15
and 65 foot depths. On late afternoon dives I have been
taken by surprise to come across them in 4 to 5 ft. of water
right after getting in. After learning the trick of not focusing
attention on them, sometimes one of them would even
follow us around for a portion of our dive.

night turtle

This one (pictured left),
would even occassionally
hang out with us on night
dives. Just when we
would think he had left
us, we'd shine our lights
in a slow, sweeping
search and there he'd
be just above us or
trailing along behind.

Generally at night they
would be resting under
coral overhangs or in
small lava tubes.
Although our lights were
somewhat disturbing to
their rest at first, after
repeated night dives they
seemed to know we
would shortly be on our
way and would hardly
bat an eye.


wave Ms.P

With the exception of our "night dive buddy" they barely give us a glance anymore.
I never tire of observing the incredible beauty of their construction.

When sea turtles are resting they can stay down for 3 to 4
hours without breathing. When they are active they must
swim to the surface every few minutes for a breath of air.
While sitting on shore to watch the sunset, it became
ritualistic for us to watch them frequently popping their
heads up for air while feeding in shallow tidal pools at
that time of the late afternoon.

front view Ms.P

Gallery Index
1.Handcrafted Creations: Dolphin & Whale Boxes
2.My Underwater Photo Gallery I: People
3.My Underwater Photo Gallery II: Green Sea Turtles
4.My Underwater Photo Gallery III: More Marine Life
5.Underwater Photo Gallery IV: Dolphins
6.Underwater Photo Gallery V: Humpback Whales


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