In 2008, “my Bob” and I had been about blown off the map when we tried to eat a Subway sandwich hunkered down at a picnic table freezing ours buns off at this obscure little state park on the western tip of Maui. But what a different experience Rick and I had!

The weather was sunny and stellar, with just the barest breeze, and there were plenty of people out sunbathing and swimming and barbecuing. It was like I’d never actually seen this place before, and I wondered how many amenities had been added in the past five years.

There was plenty of parking—a whole second lot I don’t remember seeing before, plenty of lawn dotted with a multitude of picnic tables, a large, wooden lifeguard tower, a freshwater foot washing station, and lots and lots of people—I suspected mostly local people—gathered to enjoy a delightful Sunday afternoon.

Rick parked at a picnic table in the shade and I took off to walk along the water. I walked to the farthest end of the small beach and climbed up on some rocks there to enjoy the view. But suddenly my attention was diverted to the ocean right in front of me.

At least a dozen green sea turtles were feeding right at the base of this pile of rocks! I turned and motioned to Rick, but how do you convey “turtle” in pseudo-charades? I put held out my arms in a circle in front of me, but realized it probably looked more like I was imitating a person with a big belly.

Tearing myself away from watching these wonderful creatures, I quickly walked back up the beach and retrieved Rick—and the camera!

Miraculously, the turtles had remained close to shore, and we both got to see them “up close and personal” for a long, enjoyable time. I confirmed my suspicions that most of the beachgoers were local when few came to see the turtles. I suppose it was “same old, same old,” for them, but I was absolutely THRILLED!

Rick took a video (of sorts), but never knowing where to point the camera proved to be quite the challenge. I finally told him to put down the camera and just enjoy the moment. At one time, in a large, rolling wave, we were able to see five or six of them “going with the flow.” I can’t imagine how they managed not to crash among the rocks with each ocean swell, but they seemed to do just fine.

I’m glad there’s no video of me “waving back” when one of them raised a flipper out of the water to navigate the waves. I was in so much awe of this spectacular sight that my eyes clouded over with tears from time to time. Sea turtles! Right there in front of us!

It was another heaven-on-earth moment, one I could barely tear myself away from, and one I’ll always cherish. Sea turtles! Just spitting distance away! What a fabulous “happy accident” with which to start winding up our vacation.

Aloha! Stay tuned!