So I have always had a strange fascination with turtles and tortoises. When my kids were young I bought every picture book I could find about these curious green creatures. I often visited the Santa Barbara Zoo, just to see my friends in the tortoise enclosure.
Since moving to Oahu I have made it a mission to scour the island for close encounters of the turtle kind. My absolute favorite place for turtles is Paradise Cove. I'm not sure what it is exactly that draws these underwater allies to this tiny little cove. It may have something to do with the fact that Paradise is the only naturally occurring cove in all of Ko Olina Resort. After all Paradise Cove is where they got the idea for all the "man-made" coves that those overpriced resorts are perched on. Don't get me wrong, on occasion you may swim across a turtle in one of the other coves, but Paradise Cove never disappoints.
I think it may have something to do with the tiny little parking lot. There are about twelve parking spaces and usually a line of at least three cars waiting patiently (or impatiently) for the next available spot. We just park across the street at the store. But limited parking means limited tourists, and maybe the turtles appreciate this.
Today there were at least seven turtles cruising around the lagoon, including Half-swimmer, lovingly named because one of his fins was stolen by a shark or a fishing net. We spent nearly four hours swimming and sunning with the turtles. They aren't shy at all. If you wade into the shallows don't be frightened if a few huge dark rocks start swimming towards you. They're just coming over to say hello and to welcome you to their ocean. If you're in the area you should stop by and say hello.