Welcome to my 1000th post since I started my blog back in August of 2011.
It’s been a crazy ride, but I’ve enjoyed it so much! To those of you who have been with me since the beginning, THANK YOU. And to those who are new, welcome aboard! I hope we’ll keep having fun together for years to come.
At the end of my last post, I realized I hadn’t done a post about the turtle I met in Maui.
Well, I guess “met” isn’t completely accurate. I stumbled upon him on my beach walk, and once I determined he wasn’t dead (he opened and closed his eyes several times,) I took a few photos of him. (I didn’t want to be taking photos of a dead turtle – it seemed disrespectful!)
We’ve been coming to Maui for going on twenty years, and this was a first for me. We’ve seen sea turtles in the water many many times, but NEVER just laying on the beach.
When I got back to the Maui house, I called the turtle rescue number and spoke to a young man about what I’d seen. He asked if the turtle had any signs of injury (no) or tumors (no) or any signs of obvious distress (well, I don’t know what a distressed turtle looks like, so I said he seemed lethargic.)
He said, “Well, this one of the few places in the world that turtles sometimes come up on the sand just to bask in the sun, then they turn around and go back out to sea when they’re done.”
I thanked him for his help, but really, in the back of my mind, I was still a little concerned about him.
When the girls got back from playing at a different beach, I took them back out to see him, and to check on him. He was still there, but had moved just a little. We watched him for awhile, and I decided I would check in on him again in the morning, just to make sure he was okay.
So, morning came, along with bucket-loads of rain (I mean SERIOUS rain by Maui standards) so I opted not to trek a half mile down the beach in the downpour. By late afternoon it had diminished to a heavy mist, so I ventured out with my phone and jawbone (pedometer) in a plastic ziplock bag – may as well get credit for steps while I’m doing my good deed.
I have to admit to having a little pit in my stomach with the fear that his lifeless body might be laying on the beach.
As I walked around the corner to where I could see quite a ways down the beach, I felt relief at realizing he wasn’t there. But still. Could the tide have washed him into the ocean? It seemed like he would be too heavy, but I wasn’t sure.
So I walked further down the beach, then walked into the ocean along a ridge that dropped down into deeper water. I figured if the tide HAD pulled him in, surely he would have sunk and stayed near the ridge. I walked all the way back along the ridge, just to make sure I could see no evidence of him.
I walked a little further down than I needed to to enter our property, then looked out to sea one last time before heading up. A turtle popped his head out of the water and grabbed a breath of air and submerged again. I have NEVER seen a turtle that close to shore OR at our beach in all the years we’ve been coming here.
I have no way of knowing if it was actually him, but in my fairy-tale-believing brain, I choose to think it was him, saying thank you for checking on him and letting me know he is okay. At least until someone provides evidence to the contrary.
Things like that happen in Maui. Such is the spirit of Aloha.