When you visit Hawaii for the first time, one of the activities on your list should be a glimpse of the area's most fascinating wildlife. The sea around Oahu is full of extraordinary creatures that can be seen while boating or snorkeling. Here are some of the most famous and photogenic species.
5 Sea Creatures to See in Hawaii
1. Spinner Dolphins
To see the most playful inhabitants of Hawaii's coastal waters, board a dolphin watching boat. Spinner dolphins are about the size of an adult human and are best known for their playful and energetic acrobatics. Bands of dark and light gray along their backs and sides distinguish them from other dolphin species.
2. Humpback Whales
These majestic and intelligent creatures can grow to over 50 feet in length as adults. Individuals can be recognized by the patterns on their tails. These gentle giants eat small fish and krill, and have been recorded interacting with many other species—possibly even protecting human divers from sharks.
3. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
Also known as the Pacific green turtle or the black turtle, the Hawaiian green sea turtle prefers shallow lagoons, where it feeds mainly on water plants and can sometimes be seen while snorkeling. Despite their name, they are usually olive or dark brown in color. This endangered reptile migrates long distances, sometimes over 1,600 miles, to lay eggs on the same beach where it hatched.
4. Hawaiian Monk Seal
This endangered earless seal is the only native seal species in Hawaii. They might be awkward on land, but in the water they display superior swimming skills while hunting fish, lobsters, octopus, and squid in the Hawaiian Islands' coral reefs. Monk seals sometimes appear on public beaches when they come ashore to rest.
5. Hawaiian Triggerfish
While snorkeling through the reefs, you'll see a wide range of brightly colored and distinctly patterned fish. One of the most famous is the reef triggerfish or humuhumunukunukuapua'a, the state fish of Hawaii. This remarkable fish can change its coloration from dull yellow to vivid yellow, black, blue, and white, and issues jets of water from its mouth to hunt for food under the loose sand of the ocean floor.
If you're looking for whale tours, dolphin watching excursions, and snorkeling opportunities on the island of Oahu, contact Dolphin Excursions Hawaii. Based in Waianae, they have brought visitors face to face with the area's most beautiful and beloved sea creatures for over 20 years. To book an excursion, call (808) 239-5579, or visit their website to learn more about their tours.