Rusty Haggard Blog

Seals Need Sleep and the Beach is a Good Spot

Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaiian Islands, October 2009 – Here at the tip of the island of Kauai, roosters roam the beaches, tourists take surf lessons and seals sleep through everything.

The natural current takes you gently from one end of the beach to the other as you snorkel about. A couple of wooden picnic tables on the sand, a lifeguard stand, and local families out for a bar-b-que dot the surroundings. Off to the left side of the beach, rocks stand guard on the oceanfront, making it difficult – and pretty senseless – to try to get in the water from there.

I as snorkeled offshore about 50 yards, I saw parrot fish bigger than any I had ever seen. Something bumped my left arm and I whirled around to see what was underwater that was so close. Oh! A giant sea turtle. She was beautiful and very close as she floated by me. Wow, I thought. Never had that happen before.

Back up on the beach, a protected Hawaiian seal snoozed away. A few ropes marked off her boundary. She didn’t care as she slept the hours away. Her friend showed up after a while, swimming back and forth and occasionally raising his head out of the water to make sure that was her. Finally, he hit the beach. The crowd gathered around the ropes. A sign nearby warned of the seals rather zesty mating habits and to stay back. “Give ‘em room” was the basic message. Still, people of all ages crowded around, video cameras rolling, kids looking and tourists gawking. The male seal started nudging his friend, trying to get her to wake up. A few barks were thrown in too. Finally she opened her eyes. “Oh, you,” she seemed to say and shut her eyes again.

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