Hawaiian Sea Life
Green Sea Turtle (Honu)
The green sea turtle is one of Hawaii’s most sought-after sightings, whether that be at the beach, snorkeling, or scuba diving. We take our guests to some of the most popular snorkeling locations where turtles are commonly found. On the South side of Oahu near Waikiki Beach, our go-to spot is a very popular turtle cleaning station called Turtle Canyon. On the North Shore of Oahu, we visit Three Tables and Sharks Cove. Fun fact: one of the easiest ways you can tell the difference between male and female green sea turtles is by the length of their tail. Male turtles have a much longer tail than females. Make sure to ask your in-water guide to help identify male and female turtles while snorkeling at Turtle Canyon or on the North Shore!
Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins
One of the most exciting animals to see are Hawaiian spinner dolphins. These animals are one of the smallest species of dolphin in the world and can be found jumping and playing in bays around the Hawaiian Islands. These dolphins travel to areas like Waimea Bay to rest, so it is best to keep your distance and let them sleep. Sometimes, we find a playful bunch that will come and play in the wake of the boat, and show our guests where they get the name “Spinner Dolphin.” Fun fact: spinner dolphins can launch themselves into the air spinning up to 7 times. It’s one of the crews’ favorite things to see while out on the water.
Humpback Whale (Koholā)
These magnificent gentle giants are one animal that still takes the crews' breath away, even after nearly a decade of interacting with them. Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from Alaska every December - May to give birth to an impressively large baby. In the warm Hawaiian waters visitors can witness whales teaching their newborn calves how to swim and strengthen their muscles by breaching. Some of the best whale sightings our crew has seen was located on the North shore of Oahu, cruising up the gorgeous coast line to Sunset Beach and Pipeline. These animals are only here for a short while so we are always excited to see them return.
Convict Tang (Manini) and Other Surgeonfish
This is a group of fish commonly found grazing on algae along the reef and rocky shores, or cleaning the shell of the beloved green sea turtle. They serve a vital role in keeping our reefs clean! Manini are commonly found on our North Shore snorkel trips at Three Tables and Sharks Cove. The Bluelined surgeonfish is commonly found at our Turtle Canyon snorkel site on the South side of Oahu cleaning the shells of green sea turtles.
Monk Seals (`Ilio holo I ka uaua)
The Hawaiian Monk seal is an endangered species found only in Hawaii. The most recent reports put their population around 1,500 individuals, so it's truly a special day when we spot one. We have mostly seen them relaxing in the water near our South Shore snorkel location of Turtle Canyon in the late afternoons. They have also been found swimming around a scenic bird sanctuary located on the North Shore called Kaena Point.
Laysan Albatross (Moli)
The Albatross is the largest seabird found in Hawaii with a wingspan of 6 feet (1.8 meters) and comes to a nesting sight located on the North Shore of Oahu called Kaena Point. They can be found nesting beginning in November, and chicks will start to leave the nest in June and July. Once you see one of these massive birds gliding along the horizon you will truly understand what a massive wingspan they have.
Great Frigatebird (‘Iwa)
If you’re coming to Oahu, chances are you will be taking a trip to Haleiwa. Haleiwa stands for “Home of the Frigatebird” or “Home of the Thief.” The historic town gets it's name from the large flocks of these birds that could be seen soaring high above. These birds get the name “Thief” from their strategy of stealing food from smaller seabirds out on the ocean. ‘Iwa birds hold a special place in our crew's heart after watching them for the past decade working the North Shore of Hawaii.