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Da Kine of Surfboards

By Jonathan Howery The Hawaii Turtle Tours is all about the surf competitions when they go off. With various and diverse shapes and types of surfboards, the surfer’s own ability and their surfing style decides what board to ride. Length affects a surfer’s performance in the water and most modern surfboards are made out of foam that is then coated with fiberglass. This makes the boards strong yet light-weight. The longer the board, the more stability for the rider and the width of the surfboard also reflects just how stable the board is. Also, the thickness of the board controls how well it will float. So, the better the floatation is, the smoother the ride on the wave. The short board is also called the Thruster. It is the most common board used for contest surfing because it is all about control, speed, and power. These boards are from 5’6″ to 6’4″ long and about 16″ to 19″ wide. The fish surfboard is wider, with a rounder nosed and a swallow tail. Usually between 5’2″ and 6’4″ long they are about 18″ to 22″ wide. This board was designed to improve wave catching ability. The gun is long, narrow and pointy at the nose with a pin tail for big wave surfing. Because of their shape they are easier to paddle out further to the big waves. At 6 to 10 feet in length, these boards are easier to control on the more powerful waves. The name comes from the term elephant gun, meaning the board is the surfers gun for hunting down giant surf. Longboard is known as a cruiser or the log. They are over 8 or 9 feet long, with a rounded nose. More stable in the water, theses boards are easier to paddle and that makes them ideal to learn surfing on. The Malibu board is like the longboard by its shape but is shorter and slimmer. The Malibu is also called a mini-mal, and can have either one large fin or three smaller fins. Fun-boards are 6’6″ to 8’0″ and 20″ to 22″ wide. The fun-board adds the paddling power of a longboard with the turning ability of a short-board and is perfect for less skillful surfers. Foam-boards are also known as foamies or softboards because they were planned for beginners. Because they are foam they are less likely to hurt the new surfer or others around them. The body-board is also called a boogie board. These boards are rectangular boards and small so you lay on them rather than stand and they can be very cheap, and a lot of fun. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com.  

The Hawaiian Monk Seal

By Jonathan Howery A large yet gentle creature you may encounter on the Hawaii Turtle Tours is the The Hawaiian Monk Seal. As one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, The Hawaiian monk seal is the rarest seal or sea lion in US waters. In the late 19th century these seals were hunted to the brink of extinction. The Hawaiian monk seals population is currently declining at 4 percent each year. It is estimated that fewer than 1,200 individuals survive. Over the next 3 to 4 years, biologists believe only 1,000 will survive making this species one of the world’s most endangered. The monk seal weighs about 375 to 450 pounds and is 7 to 7 1/2 feet in length. Interestingly, the females are somewhat larger than males and their pups are about 35 pounds when born and about 3 feet in length. The newborn pups are black in color. The adults have a silvery colored back with lighter creamy coloration on their underside. The back of the males typically darken with age. The monk seals typically lives to be 25 to 30 years old. The Hawaiian monk seals thrive in warm subtropical waters where they spend over half their time in the ocean. They use waters surrounding the islands, and areas on reefs and submerged banks. These seals can be found spending time in deep-water coral beds as well. When on land, the monk seals breed and use shallow waters of sandy, protected beaches when pupping. Monk seals are frequently seen relaxing on shorelines during the day. Monk seals feed on a variety of prey; crustaceans, fish, and cephalopods. They change their diet by their age, sex, and location. The adult seals are night hunters in 60 to 300 feet deep waters while younger pups spend more time hunting sorts hiding in the sand or under rocks during the day time. Monk seals have also been known to forage deeper than 1,000 feet to prey on eels and other sea organisms. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com.  

Laie Point

By Jonathan Howery Hawaiian myths and legends happen to captivate the minds and imaginations of visitors to the islands. They are full of struggle and peril and happen to feature stories beyond belief. One of the stops that the Hawaii Turtle Tour makes is out to Laie Point. You can’t see this place from the road as it is tucked away behind a neighborhood in the small town on Oahu’s north shore. At some point this must have been a secret spot among locals as it is great for cliff jumping into the ocean. A scene from the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall was filled there, its where the two jump off the cliff and share a first kiss in the sea. Now the point of land that extends out into the ocean used to be called Laniloa but was renamed Laie Point. According to ancient Hawaiian legend, this land was inhabited by a giant mo’o or lizard by the name of Laniloa. It most likely resembled a huge dragon and had the reputation for killing anyone who dared step into its territory. Kana who was a legendary warrior with his brother Niheu rescued their mother from a mo’o who dwelled on the island of Molokai. After taking her back to Big Island, Kana set out on a journey to kill all the dragons of Hawaii. After years of slaying mo’o and finally reached Laie, he easily defeated Laniloa, taking his head, chopping it into five pieces, and spreading it around the point. One of the islands resembles the top half sticking out with Laniloa’s eye staring back. Historically, Laie was a sanctuary for fugitives and those who committed a kapu or taboo. While a fugitive was in the sanctuary they were safe from outside forces and it was unlawful for anyone chasing them down to harm the criminals. If anyone attempted to pursue these fugitives into the sanctuary then they would have been killed by the administering priests. Those who sought refuge within the borders were not forced to permanently live within the confines of its walls. Instead, they could enter the service of the priests and assist in the daily duties or eventually, after a certain length of time, be free to leave and re-enter the world without fearing consequences of reprisal. This last option being similar to a jail sentence served. Well there you have it, history and legends of Laie. Have a great vacation in our the lovely Hawaiian Islands. If you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email to turtletour808@gmail.com.  

Chinaman's Hat

By Jonathan Howery A great stop and picture opportunity along the way on the Hawaii Turtle Tour is to Chinaman’s Hat, also known as Mokoli’i in Hawaiian. Chinaman’s Hat is a basalt islet in Kaneohe Bay on Oahu. It is part of Kualoa Regional Park near the Kualoa Ranch and is located about a third of a mile offshore. It is possible to hike to the island and enjoy the day out there but only at low tide when the waves are only waist high. People have been known to either be stuck out on the island overnight or even drown is trying to get back at high tide. But the tour doesn’t take you into the ocean to Chinaman’s Hat, only for pictures in the park. Mokoli’i is translated as little lizard. The lizards were called mo’o and were thought to be water spirits that changed from people after time since they died. Although there were no lizards on the islands when native Hawaiians first settled the area, it is suggested that ancestral memory and stories passed down tales of lizards. They believed that the remnants of a tail of a legendary gigantic lizard were what made Mokoli’i. They also believed that the back of the great mo’o was the Kualoa mountain range. Kualoa in Hawaiian means long, large back. As the legend goes, Hi’iakaikapoliopele, one of the sisters of Pele (the goddess of fire), was the goddess who lives at Halema’uma’u. She left the island of Hawaii and decided to journey to Oahu. One day she was passing through the Kualoa area and this huge monstrous lizard chased her and tried to kill her. She vanquishing the beast and the signs of the battle remain its tail sticking out of the ocean. Have a great time on your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands. If you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email to turtletour808@gmail.com.  

Haleiwa Town

By Jonathan Howery Snorkeling in the ocean and seeing all kinds on Hawaiian fish and sea turtles is an amazing experience on the original Hawaii Turtle Tour. The snorkeling takes place at a secret spot out in Haleiwa. All of the gear is included and a safety instruction is given before you take to the water. Also, you are nearly guaranteed to see a green sea turtle while snorkeling or walking along the beach. Haleiwa town is a beautiful place and has a very rich history. Its old plantation town vibe is definitely seen and well preserved in the many different and rustic buildings. It is a very quaint little town and is a popular destination for tourists wanting to visit the North Shore for surfing, surf competitions, snorkeling, diving, shark cages, and horseback riding. When the United States of America was building Oahu up as the premier naval defense of the Pacific in the 1930s, they had added (4) 8-inch mortar railway guns located along the track on the North Shore. On December 7, 1941, the day that will live in infamy, was the day the Japanese Imperial Fighters bombed Pearl Harbor. There was only one US aircraft that managed to fight out against the Japanese attack and that took off from the old Haleiwa Airfield. There are some great attractions in Haleiwa that are worth taking a day to explore in the town. Haleiwa Beach Park features access to surfing or standup paddle board lessons offered year round. The river is a great calm spot to learn on and there are turtles that swim up and down the riverbed. If that doesn’t appeal then kayaking or canoeing should. Everything is within walking distance. From shopping and eating to sightseeing the historic parts of the town, Haleiwa is a must see. Plus, Matsumoto’s Shave Ice is a local island favorite and sells the most popular shave ice, similar to a snow cone. Have a great time on your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands. If you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email to turtletour808@gmail.com. Loa’a wale lā!

Macadamia Nut Farm

Hawaii Turtle Tours take you to many parts of the Island of Oahu and a great stop they make along the way is to Tropical Farms Macadamia Nut Farm. Tropical Farms initially began as a roadside outlet for macadamia nuts in 1987. It was a very convenient spot as there was a lot of traffic that took Kamehameha Highway. Plus having the Pacific Ocean in the backyard doesn’t hurt either. What began as a husband and wife business just cracking open, sorting by variety, and packaging them up in bundles turned into a full on operation. The couple went from selling fresh macadamia nuts on the hood of a car to outlet store with free samples of tasty macadamia delights and souvenirs for tourists. Today, Tropical Farms operates from 9:30am to 5pm every day of the week and is a great place to pull over and explore. Tour buses stop here often so it can get a little crowded inside. Yet the shop has an open air feel and a lot of energy flowing through. They have tasting samples for a plethora of hot sauces in addition to macadamia nuts. There’s also free cups of Kona Macadamia Nut coffee to enjoy while you peruse through their different selections. They also offer pearl jewelry, art, creams, and aromatic oils you won’t find in Waikiki. Outback you can still get a feel for nature while also enjoying one of their activities. You can grab your own macadamia nuts and crack them open with a rock and eat them straight out of the shell! So tag along on the Turtle Tour and take a stop at Tropical Farms Macadamia Nut Farm. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and be sure to hop aboard. If you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com.  

Endangered

By Jonathan Howery Hawaii Turtle Tours takes you for a tour around the island of Oahu to see some pretty amazing things. However, most people don’t know about the trouble that the islands face. The islands are home to some amazing and unique plants and animals. Yet, today it is estimated that there approximately 9/10 of these species are invasive or foreign. Leaving only a tenth of native and endemic species left on the island. This means that of this small percentage, these plans and animals are found nowhere else in the world. Plus, the majority of these species are endemic, which means that they are found only in Hawaii and nowhere else. Due to the Hawaiian islands isolation in the middle of the pacific ocean, the surrounding ecosystems and all of its inhabitants (mainly the plants) before man’s arrival, evolved on their own. Many flora and fauna arrived to the islands by wind, water, or wings. Because they were free from many of their competitive foes or from being eaten by herbivores, they didn’t develop defence mechanisms or were afraid when the first outside visitors showed up. Hawaii is known to conservationists as the endangered species capital and extinction capital of the entire world. Of the documented extinctions that have occurred, half of the bird species disappeared alone from the colonization by polynesians. Destruction of ecosystems, species displacement, food resource competition, and hunting decimated the native species. Since European contact in 1778 over than a hundred different species of plants have gone extinct with nearly two hundred considered to be endangered with fewer than fifty individuals out in nature. Most endangered species are grown and kept alive in arboretums and botanical gardens. So please, when visiting Hawaii, make sure not to bring any outside plants or animals that are very likely to upset our delicate ecosystem. Be respectful and Hawaii will respect you. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com.  

The Islands of Hawaii

By Jonathan Howery History about the Islands of Hawaii is a large part of what you will be hearing while on the Hawaii Turtle Tour. In fact you will learn all about Hawaii’s 137 islands in all. Just kidding, but you will learn the names of the Big 8. Most of these islands are actually offshore atolls, islets, and cures, covered in coral and sea life. The Hawaiian island chain is actually so extensive that it is called the Emperor Seamount Chain and extends 3,600 miles. The islands that compose the chain are produced by continental drift. As the ocean crust moves over the Hawaii hotspot, more and more islands are formed. A hotspot is defined as an upwelling of molten rock from the mantle in the Earth’s core.

The Islands of Hawaii

The Islands of Hawaii Hawaii has 8 main islands that I like to call the Big 8. The main islands in the Hawaiian chain consist of Kauai, Maui, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, Niihau, Kahoolawe and Hawaii, also known as Big Island. The largest island is..you guest it, Big Island and is larger than all the other islands put together. However, the next biggest is the Valley Isle known as Maui and is located just west of of the Big Island. Around Maui you can find The Pineapple Island of Lanai, the Target Isle of Kahoolawe, and the Friendly Isle of Molokai. Heading westward from this area you will reach the Gathering Place of Oahu, then the Garden Isle of Kaua’i, and finally the Forbidden Isle of Ni’ihau. The Ancient Hawaiians first noticed the age of the islands when they migrated and populated them. The differences in composition of the islands can be seen as Kauai had the most brittle and eroded rocks so it had to be the oldest. While Big Island had the most freshly molten lava so it had to be the newest. According to Hawaiian legends and their myths handed down from generation to generation orally and through hula dancing, Kauai was inhabited first by the goddess of fire Pele who made it her home with her her family. However, her sister Namaka, goddess of the sea, became angry with Pele and forced her through great ocean waves to flee Kauai. Namaka chased Pele to Oahu, then to Molokai, Maui, and Lanai until reaching Big Island. There Pele currently lives and with her fiery powers creates more land. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com.  

Waikiki History

By Jonathan Howery Hawaii Turtle Tours takes the scenic route through this district of Honolulu while it drives to sightseeing destinations. One thing you will learn is about Waikiki history. The word Waikiki means spouting water in the Hawaiian language. This is in reference to the springs and rivers that flowed into the area from rains in the mountains. In the 1400s, a local chief by the name of Kalamakua planned an irrigation system to tap into the area’s resources. Taro patches were planted fishponds were built. Then during the 1450s a local tribunal government was set up. Waikiki is also one of Hawaii’s historic battlegrounds. Kamehameha I arrived in 1794 from the Big Island with 100s of canoes and 1000s of warriors. His army took over Waikiki Beach and set up their camps along the shores. Then Kamehameha’s army moved toward the Nuuanu valley to attack the Oahu forces and their chief Kalanikupule. Kamehameha had superior forces pushed many of Oahu’s warriors over the Pali cliffs to the deaths. As trade grew under Kamehameha rule over the unified islands of Hawaii, Honolulu’s population also grew. This meant and expansion of the harbors for more ships and more trade. King Kamehameha moved his court in 1812 from his home in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island aka the Big Island to Honolulu, Oahu. Waikiki itself functioned as a retreat for the royalty to enjoy as a vacation of sorts. Royal descendents kept their own homes in the area of Waikiki for such reasons. It wasn’t until the mid 1850s that Waikiki became a tourist destination. When more crowds started showing up, the Ala Wai Canal was built to drain the area and allow for more development. This lead to an expansion of hotel construction and the Waikiki skyline is now full of an abundance of high-rises for resort hotels. However, the beaches are still sandy (although mainly man-made) and the surf at Waikiki is famous for summer-time swells making it ideal for beginners here on holiday. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com.  

The Hawaiian State Fish

By Jonathan Howery One of the cool things that you’ll get a chance to see while snorkeling with Hawaii Turtle Tours is the Hawaiian State fish, the the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa. It is also known as the Hawaiian triggerfish or rectangular triggerfish. Hawaii’s State Legislature asked the Waikiki Aquarium and the University of Hawaii at Manoa to survey the public in order to officially select an official state fish. Children from around the island of Oahu led campaigns in order for the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa to become more popular and to be chosen. However, although it was selected, it wasn’t made official until 2006. The Humuhumunukunukuapuaa is represented in local culture through songs, commercials, and many different souvenirs. Now for those of you who look at the word and have no idea how to say it, it is pronounced “who moo who moo nuu coo nuu coo ah puu ah ah.” The name itself, if you can’t say the whole thing, is just Humuhumu. The name of the Hawaiian state fish has several meanings. The most commonly known one is translated as “fish with a pig’s snout”. The fish makes a snorting noise when its taken out of the water that resembles the sound of a pig. When you translate directly from Hawaiian to English, the word or name Humuhumunukunukuapuaa is fish that comes out of the water and sounds like a pig. The Humuhumu can grow up to 18 inches in length and has a diamond-shaped body. The fishes colorings are a mix of yellow, black, and blue. It lives in the coral reefs that surround the Hawaiian islands. The fish thrive in the pacific ocean and they feed on seaweed and crustaceans. Some fun facts about the Humuhumu, is that it sleeps on it’s side at night and has the defense mechanism to dim its body coloration when it sleeps or is felt threatened. It can also shoot water jet streams from its mouth for blowing away sand that covers crustaceans. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com.