What makes a kayaking trip in Kailua Bay even more memorable? Encounters with the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, of course! These creatures, known as Nā Honu in Hawaiian, are abundant in beautiful Kailua Bay thanks to the flourishing algae growing on our coral reef. Whether you get the chance to spot Nā Honu from the seat of your kayak, from the beach of Moku Nui, or up close and personal through your snorkeling lens, these animals are majestic and awe-inspiring.


Check out these tips to better your chances of having a personal encounter with a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle on your next paddling adventure!


Snorkeling with turtles in Kailua


Planning your kayak trip:

Perfect kayaking and stand up paddle boarding conditions are great opportunities to encounter Nā Honu. Calm, windless days make these creatures more inclined to visit the surface and play about. Stand up paddleboards are perhaps the most perfect craft for spotting the hawaiian green sea turtle; the vantage point offered by standing atop your board is unrivaled. Make sure you bring your GoPro or picture-taking device to document your paddling experience!


Sea Kayaking Kailua Bay Honu


How to spot the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle in Kailua Bay:

The Hawaiian Green Sea turtle must return to the surface every few minutes for oxygen while active. In a resting state, Nā Honu can remain below the surface of the water for periods of up to two hours. The best way to spot a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is to scan the water for motion. At first, these creatures may look like an indistinguishable floating object. Once you spot one, you will begin to have a knack for spying these animals!


Kailua Bay Honu


Dos and Don’ts:

Do maintain a respectful distance from Nā Honu.

Don’t touch a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle – this is illegal in the state of Hawaii and is punishable by law.

If you ever see trash or debris in the ocean, do pick it up and bring it back to land to safely dispose of it. Keep our special friends in mind when doing away with waste. Keep the planet beautiful!

Don’t chase sea turtles. Although these creatures have the ability to navigate the waters up to speeds of 25mphs, do not make them uncomfortable in their home environment.


Stand Up Paddleboarding Kailua Bay Sea Turtle Encounters


Hayley Spear is a sea kayak guide, social media assistant, photographer, and guest relations extraordinaire. Check her out at Hayley Sarah Blog!