Punalu’u turtles

Punaluu turtles resting

Turtles are creatures of the water. The only reason they have to venture ashore is to lay eggs, but in Hawaii, green turtles like to find a beach and spend a lazy day basking in the sunshine. This helps them conserve energy and keeps them safe from sharks.

On the Big Island there are a number of places where turtles are frequently seen on shore. One of them is Punalu’u Beach Park, on the Kau coast, which has a lovely black sand beach ideal for getting a bit of rest. Well, it would be ideal except for that most annoying and obtuse of creatures, the human.

There are apparently large numbers of people who don’t know how to read the numerous signs telling them to keep their distance from the turtles. There are a fair number of people who think the world would be a better place if only there existed a photo of them sitting beside or on top of a turtle.

These days, park staff or volunteers tape off the area where the turtles are resting. This seems to help. The bottom photo was taken from behind the tape with a moderate telephoto lens so it’s not like anyone’s being deprived of getting a good view.

Posted in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘Lazy Days.’ See more responses here.

Punaluu turtle resting

9 thoughts on “Punalu’u turtles

  1. naturebackin

    How amazing to see so many turtles together – I had not heard of turtles doing beach basking before. Dismaying when people show wild animals so little respect, so all strength to those persuading people to keep their distance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Graham Post author

      I’ve read that Hawaiian green turtles are unusual in their daytime basking behavior, but here it’s quite common. There are a few places on the island where one is almost guaranteed to see several turtles hauled out on shore. I think there’s a fairly strong community of people here helping educate visitors to respect species such as the green turtle.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Graham Post author

      Was it this place? Punalu’u is in Kau and is the best known of the black sand beaches, though there are others. It’s good not to get to close and, like I said, you can get a nice detailed shot with any kind of telephoto lens.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Terri Webster Schrandt

        Yes, we googled it after we visited Volcanoes Nat’l Park. We were thrilled with the Hilo side and so much to see and do! We did see some more black sand in Hilo Bay along the Kalanianaole Ave at one of the small beaches.



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