As I waded out in the crystal clear water I saw our first turtle before I even started to swim. It was cruising over the sandy bottom. The mid day light was shining through the water lighting up the turtles shell, making for some great photographs.
That first turtle led me straight into the second, and that is how this entire snorkel felt. Once I had enough pictures of those turtles over the sand I swam to find Heidi snorkeling over the reef. I was pretty shocked at how beautiful the topography of the reef was. There were lots of nooks and crannies for animals to hide, and the coral looked very healthy and colorful.
I took some time to photograph the beautiful reefscape but focused most of the snorkel on the different turtles zooming by. They were all green sea turtles and ranged in size. They didn't seem too timid, so I could get close for pictures, but I always tried to stay out of the way so as not to impact their behavior.
My favorite encounter came while I was following one young turtle bee-lining it over the reef. All of a sudden the turtle stopped and all of these black surgeonfish rushed out to start cleaning the turtle. I had just stumbled upon a sea turtle cleaning station. This turtle did have a particularly algae covered shell so the fish were getting a very good meal. Another turtle came over to try and get cleaned but the fish only seemed interested in this young one. I could tell the turtle was also having a grand time because I was able to dive all around getting different angles for photos. The resulting photographs were pretty fun to go back through.
And after all this fun I got to swim back to the beach to play in the sand and surf with Catalina. You know what they say... Maui no ka oi. (Maui is the best!)
You can check out these and more sea turtle photos for sale at https://www.daimarsphotos.com/Wildlife/Sea-Turtles/