One of the most common sea creatures we encounter on our diving and sea kayaking expeditions are sea turtles.
Generally, sea turtles are not as timid as other wildlife encountered in the open seas. In some cases, they are just as curious about us as we are about them.
Sea turtles are also one of the most fascinating of all reptiles, on land or in the sea. They also are one of the oldest, having been around for more than 10 million years. In fact, they are one of the only remaining animals that probably were around at the time of the dinosaurs.
Scuba Dive in Hawaii — World Travellers
Many sea turtles around Hawaii and other warm and temperate waters are migratory. The distance between the places where they nest and where they feed can sometimes be hundreds of miles.
Some sea turns migrate as far as 1,400 miles. So the same sea turtle you see during a visit to Hawaii may be the exact same one you see on the coast of the continental US.
Scuba Dive in Hawaii — Swimming Home Again
Like salmon, sea turtles return to the same nesting grounds where they themselves were born. When the females return to shore, they will dig out a nest in the ground using their back flippers.
They will then bury their clutch of eggs in the sand before returning to the ocean. Baby sea turtles will hatch underground and may take up to a week to dig themselves out of the nest their mother made for them.
They will then wait until night, when there are fewer predators, before making their way to the ocean, where they swim away and live solitary lives until they are mature enough to mate.
Another interesting fact about sea turtle: Even though the average dive is only about five minutes, green sea turtles can stay submerged for as long as five hours without coming up for air. Their heart rate slows to conserve oxygen and there could be as many as nine minutes between heartbeats!