What do you picture when you think of Hawaii? We at Hoot Holidays think of those beautiful azure waters that lap up on white beaches, stretching up to lush green forestry - and, of course, all those swishing hula skirts and fiery tiki torches. No doubt you envision something fairly similar.
But what if we flipped that image upside down - then what do you think of? That's right! We're talking about all that cool marine life that is likely to sneak up next to you in the waves or even on the beaches! Jump in the water, and here's what creatures you'll find.
Have you ever seen those floppy-finned buddies? Manta rays calmly surf underwater on wings that can span up to 20 feet - they're truly quite graceful looking. Best of all, they're quite friendly creatures who like to splash around in shallower waters. Don't worry, these aren't the species who have those barbed stingers - those are stingrays. Pop on your scuba mask and have fun gliding through the water alongside the manta ray.
The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
Here's another animal you'll likely see when snorkelling or scuba diving. Believe it or not, the sweet Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles were once hunted for their meat and shells - but today they're protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1978, thank goodness! Now these guys just glide through sea gardens doing their thing. You can't leave Hawaii without seeing one of the country's most iconic animals swimming around!
The snakes of the sea! You might be a little spooked if you come across one of these as you're snorkelling along, so we thought we'd just give you the heads up now. There are three main types of eels indigenous to the Hawaiian area, moray, conger and snake. Eels like to play hide and seek amongst the shady areas of the coral reef because they're relatively nocturnal. They're going to try to avoid you as best they can, but it's not uncommon to see one poking its head out at you.
There are currently only about 1,500 Monk seals rolling around on the Hawaiian Islands. Go to the right place and you might be able to sunbathe right alongside them when they're done floundering about in the waves (though it's illegal to harass them, so be cool). This marine animal is protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
This giant mammal is a tad more evasive than the rest, but join the right whale watching cruise and you'll likely see them surfacing to spout. You're most likely going to see them between November and March because this is when they're migrating down from Alaska and there are thousands of them. Give a go at your best whale call too, because, whale not?
You didn't think we'd leave out the dolphins did you? The spinner dolphins are some of the most fun to see in their natural habitat simply because of how playful they are - they're named spinner dolphins because they like to flip around when they dive out of the water. Jump aboard a cruise to experience these aquatic mammals flitting next to your stern. They also like to travel in pods, so if you see one, get ready for the rest to show up.
Hawaii is full of amazing things to do and see, but getting the opportunity to see some of these amazing creatures up close and personal is the real treat. Have fun!
- Posted in Hawaii