Guided Sea Turtle Snorkeling West Oahu, Wildlife Tours with Integrity

Guided snorkeling with sea turtles oahu boat tour

Our marine biologist crew sails you out for sensitive sea turtle connections on the “Wild Side” of Oahu.

Summer months with calm waters and deserted beaches are the best time to the snorkel the turtle reef on Oahu’s west coast. However as long as conditions allow (big wave season is Nov. – Feb. in Hawaii), we can include snorkeling with turtles in every charter. Our daily agenda is typically intermixed with guided reef snorkeling (turtles and reef fish), wild dolphin watching and swim encounters, and whale watching. All with fun, expert narration. You’ll see what others miss!

Flash – Makaha Turtle “Cleaning Station” (watch video!)

“When you look something wild in the eye, and it looks back at you, you see it for the first time.”

Discover coral reefs frequented by green sea turtles and tropical fish. Find turtles resting or grazing under ledges, stretching out at turtle “cleaning stations”, or basking at the water’s surface. Be especially sensitive to a resting turtle, and when snorkeling with sea turtles please stay a good 10 feet away always.

Certified Turtle Safe!

With proper respect, guided snorkeling with sea turtles on Oahu can give lifetime memories.

There are a couple of subtle signs to watch for when near a sea turtle that signal you may be too close for their comfort. “Yawning”, open mouth movements or head bobbing are clues. A more deeply irritated turtle will “flipper swipe” swiping a flipper over the forehead area. This is turtle-speak equal to flipping you off! Don’t embarrass yourself (or be deemed insensitive) by being flipped off by a turtle – back off if you see that flipper creep up. Less subtle signs of disturbance can include sudden awakening from a sleep-like state on the sea floor, an increase in swimming speed or diving towards deeper water. Turtles can swim in amazingly fast bursts! Green sea turtles are known for their strong, paddle-like limbs, which they use to swim through the water. When frightened, they can sprint up to 22mph. While they could give that fabled hare a run for it’s money, a black marlin clocks out at 82 mph!

“There are sea turtles everywhere, foraging right below our feet, peaceful but fearless. Nothing about them appears passive, so thick skinned and strong. I want to be like that, wise, peaceful and perfectly equipped to deal with anything.”

– Michael J. Fox

snorkeling with turtles oahu hawaiiHale O Honu (Hawaiian for “turtle town”) – a sea turtle cleaning station. A snorkel area easily accessible for all ages and abilities. Exceptional visibility and richness of slow-moving marine life ensures a good time for all. Even non-swimmers may be able to  participate. Flotation devices are provided.

Snorkeling may be weather dependent, especially during winter months. While animals may still be viewed from the surface, it is not always in our best interest to get in the water…

“”Snorkeling alongside these majestic, graceful, creatures is a humbling reminder of the fragility of the planet, and the devastating impact of humans. Making eye contact with a turtle, watching it elegantly propel itself to the surface to catch its breath before descending again to the sandy seabed, and then swim alongside a glistening web of plastic floating aimlessly underwater is a powerful prompt that conservation work – no matter how small – is more important than ever.”

~Lucy Sherriff, Discovery Channel

It seems that everyone loves sea turtles. They are a source of awe and inspiration; lumbering up on a beach to bask, flying gracefully through a reef, or watching hatchlings charge to the sea are truly magical and unforgettable experiences. Would our blue planet be complete without sea turtles?

Sea turtles have played vital roles in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans for more than 100 million years. These roles range from maintaining productive coral reef ecosystems to transporting essential nutrients from the oceans to beaches and coastal dunes.