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(dramatic music)
- [Narrator] When you look down at the magnificent
island of Kauai and all of its towering mountains
lined with lush forests, you likely assume
it must be crawling with reptiles and amphibians.
However, aside from a few invasive anoles,
this lost world is completely void
of your typical herpetological specimens.
Kauai, or the garden island, as it has long been nicknamed,
is considered the fourth largest
island in the Hawaiian chain.
And like all of its counterparts, is completely surrounded
by the warm waters of the Northern Pacific Ocean.
And the moment you leave the shoreline behind
and dive beneath the crashing blue waves,
you stand a really good chance of encountering one of
the ocean's most iconic reptiles, the green sea turtle.
- [Man] How about those turtles?
- (sighs) It might not be a bad idea
to come back here and do a seat turtle adventure.
- Mm, I like that one.
- In order to properly admire sea turtles in the wild,
you need to either snorkel or you can drop beneath
the surface and watch them from a safe distance
for a few seconds, or you can scuba dive
and spend nearly an hour visiting in their watery realm.
Well guys, it has been an epic trip to Hawaii.
And so far, our diving experiences have been A plus.
We've seen all sorts of incredible marine creatures,
but the thing that's really caught my interest
has been all of the sea turtles.
Now there is no way that I am going home
without getting a proper turtle episode.
So if you guys are ready, let's take the cameras beneath
the surface and get up close with these marine reptiles.
Today we will be joined by technical dive specialists
Mike Hanna and Brian O'Hara.
Considered by most to be Kauai's best dive team,
their expertise beneath the surface will help keep us safe.
And their knowledge of the area's wildlife
will assist in findIng these large ocean reptiles.
When people ask me what it's like to pull
on my dive mask and sink below the waves,
I once said it was a feeling of complete terror.
However, with the passing of each accomplished dive,
I became more and more comfortable.
And when it came to searching for sea turtles,
I couldn't get underwater fast enough.
Despite being endangered,
the green sea turtle is considered one of the most common
sea turtle species, with a worldwide range that spans most
of the tropical and subtropical oceans of the world.
When it comes to population density in the waters of
the United States, the Hawaiian Islands are without question
the place to see these majestic reptilian creatures.
So as we began to explore along the rocky
underwater outcrops, it was only a matter
of minutes before we came across our first sea dragon.
In their adult stage,
green sea turtles are mainly herbivores.
And they spend a majority of their time foraging
along rocky shallows, where they feast
upon a variety of sea grasses and algae.
Their serrated beaks work like pruning shears
as they drift on the undercurrents and feast away.
Males grow larger than the females,
and one of the most distinct differences between the two
is that the males, similar to snapping turtles,
have much longer and more robust tails.
Wow, that was amazing!
Amazing, the giant male, saw the male
and the female right next to each other.
The male's over here in the rocks feeding right now.
What was great is that I was able to get a shot
of them right next to each other so you can see
the distinct difference in the tail size.
Like I said the males have a much larger tail
than the females, so that was really cool to see.
I'm gonna kinda hang out in this area
and see if he moves back out.
- [Man] There he is.
- Do you see him? - Yep.
He's in the same spot, let's go.
- [Coyote] Okay cool, I'm going down.
With the camera in my hand,
I used the power of my dive fins to fight the current.
I was determined to get some epic shots.
Interacting with sea turtles is far different from any
other turtle species I have worked with in the past.
You certainly are not allowed to catch or even touch
these majestic reptiles, as strict regulations
require you to keep a respectful distance.
So to make this episode work, we simply had to admire the
animals as they naturally interacted with their environment.
(relaxed music)
Wow this is awesome, so we have the female green
sea turtle that's just hiding underneath the rock right now.
Actually down there resting.
Now they can stay underwater for a considerable amount
of time, close to 30 minutes when they aren't moving around.
So we're just kinda stay in this area and keep an eye on her
and when she gets ready to come up for a breath of air,
we're gonna try to get her to come to the surface.
As I sink back beneath the rolling waves,
my dive fins propel me forward.
I maneuvered past a reef, up and over some large rocks,
and suddenly before my very eyes,
I find myself in the City of Sea Turtles.
Trust me when I say that seeing
a single sea turtle can steal your heart.
So being in the presence of many sea turtles
at once is absolutely breathtaking.
They were peaceful sentient beings.
And their calm demeanor reminded me
of the time I swam with manatees.
Here I was again, a bipedal stranger
once more in a foreign watery land.
I was being accepted into their world
with completely open arms, or in this case, flippers.
I was literally surrounded by these giant ocean dragons
as they seemed to effortlessly glide
on the underwater currents.
As a human it took every ounce of my strength
to keep balance to the turbulent water,
as my body was constantly being tossed and turned,
pummeled and dragged over the jagged rocks.
Yet I was determined to get the shots.
Keep the turtles in the frame
is all I kept telling myself as they danced around me,
looking back with curious eyes
and a kindness that I had never before seen in a reptile.
For nearly 30 minutes I rode the currents,
witness to a complete turtle feeding frenzy.
Being no more than a few feet from the surface,
I was in no danger of drowning.
However, my dive team was running low on its precious
life-providing air, so I decided to call it a day.
I knew that despite the washing machine-like setting,
I had some amazing footage
and an animal encounter that could never be replaced.
As we kicked toward shore, and our designated exit point,
we left behind a world unlike
anything I'd ever been witness to.
A society of reptiles that was
thriving in a watery paradise.
Woo, talk about swimming in Turtle City.
- [Man] Unbelievable.
- [Coyote] Absolutely one of
the coolest things I've ever done.
Takes me back to the days that we filmed with the manatees.
At one point we were surrounded by green sea turtles.
- And they like accepted us. - Yeah.
- [Man] They were swimming right alongside us.
Like you would try to swim away
and then they would stick with you.
- [Coyote] The waves were just throwing us around,
what was so cool is watching the way that the turtles
reacted to all the swells that were coming in.
Just took a couple seconds as a guide.
You don't fight the current,
you just let your body go with it.
Your leg is definitely bleeding.
- [Man] I got a little nick from the coral reef there.
- [Coyote] Yeah, my legs are definitely
a little cut up. - Sometimes that happens guys.
No pain no gain, right?
- [Coyote] To get the shot,
sometimes you gotta shed a little blood, you know?
- [Man] Tell me what it's like,
I know diving has been something that you've been
excited about but didn't really know to expect.
- It's a whole different world out there beneath
the ocean waves, and at first when we started I was nervous.
But today after getting up close with the sea turtles
and really getting accustomed to being beneath the surface,
I felt so much more comfortable,
and I feel like there are many dive episodes to come.
What was really interesting is that
right now it's about 4:30 in the afternoon,
and the same thing that I noticed with snapping turtles,
all of a sudden they emerge from nowhere and begin to feed.
Now with snapping turtles, they're hunting.
The sea turtles are simply grazing on all
the algae that is growing on the rocks.
So as we slowly approach, we kept our distance.
But after a while the turtles
just accepted us into the group.
They were moving around us,
it was just like we were there at the dinner table
with the sea turtles, it was so incredible.
Riding the drifts of the waves as they came in and out.
And it was dangerous, and we did get caught up,
but we got the shots.
I'm Coyote Peterson, be brave, stay wild.
We'll see you on the next adventure.
- [Man] Coyote, you got any Band-Aids?
- [Coyote] I got you one.
My first trip to the island of Kauai
will always hold a special place in my heart.
If you ever get the chance to visit,
there are several things I can most certainly promise.
The first is that you will never
forget the beautiful landscapes.
The second is the brilliant elegance of the blue
Pacific Ocean waves and the way they crash upon the shore.
And the third is that if you ever leave that shore behind
and you find yourself beneath the surface
in the presence of its reptilian inhabitants,
there will be no words that will ever truly describe
what it feels like to dance with dragons.
If you thought getting up close with sea turtles
was an incredible animal encounter, make sure to go back
and watch the episode where we kayaked along
the ocean's top predator, the killer whale.
And don't forget, subscribe,
so you can join me and the crew on our next big adventure.
- Whoa. - Wow.
- That's a huge male,
did you see that? - Yeah.
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Diving with Sea Turtles!

316 Folder Collection
林韋志 published on November 17, 2019
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