July 30, 2017 – Driving to Kilauea on the north shore of Kauai Hawaii, a driver noticed something interesting crossing the road. No, not a chicken so prevalent on Kauai, but a turtle. The turtle was crossing to get to the stream. The driver stopped, moved the turtle to the river side of the road near the river bank, and watched as the turtle swam off.
The turtle was not an adult, less than a foot in diameter, so it was not a recent hatching. Turtle hatching season began on Kauai in May and will continue through September. On Kauai, turtles bury their nests in remote locations. “Look for turtle tracks on the beach in the early morning, which look like little narrow tractor tracks” said Irene Kelly, sea turtle recovery coordinator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Eggs incubate in the nests for about two months.
It is also mating season, resulting in more sea turtle activity including mating in the water. Although turtle activity is island wide, much turtle activity occurs on the Kauai north shore, particularly in the Princeville area.
Below the cliffs at the Alii Kai I condo complex in Princeville, turtle communities can be seen from shore or by hiking down a short path. Although it is possible to snorkel with turtles, be careful not to disturb them and be cautious not to build fires on the beach during turtle nesting season.