Honu Heaven at the Maui Ocean Center

August 1, 2013, 5:32 PM HST · Updated August 1, 5:48 PM
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By Vanessa Wolf

Photo courtesy PWF.

Photo courtesy PWF.

During the month of August, “Turtle Mania” is taking over the Maui Ocean Center.

This special exhibit will allow aquarium visitors to explore the world of green sea turtles via unique presentations, an exclusive tour package upgrade, “Turtle-rrific Thursdays”, and two complimentary Sea Talks.

The Sea Turtle Tour Package is being offered on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. and is available August 6, 13, 20, 27 and September 3, 10, 17, and 24 only.

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This Ocean Naturalist-led tour includes a deeper look into the lives of resident honu and a choice of lunch, snack or dessert option from the Reef Café.

Due to limited availability, tour fees are applicable to parents and guardians accompanying children on the tour. The tour is $15 (plus the cost of admission) and reservations are highly recommended.

On Fridays at 11:30 a.m. you can take part in the interactive Fins & Flippers tour.

Held on August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and September 6, 13, 20, and 27 this tour is led by an Ocean Naturalist guide and includes fascinating shark and turtle facts, a visit the aquarium’s wet laboratory and observe a supervised shark and turtle feed at Hammerhead Harbor and Turtle Lagoon.

The Fins and Flippers tour is appropriate for all ages and costs $10, plus aquarium admission and, once again, reservations are highly recommended.

A turtle release from last year's Holomua na Honu. Photo courtesy Maui Ocean Center

A turtle release from last year’s Holomua na Honu. Photo courtesy Maui Ocean Center

Still not enough turtle action for you?

Very well.

On Wednesday, August 7 you can take in “Hangin’ with Honu” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Guests can enjoy the opportunity to hang out with a Hawaiian green sea turtle during casual talks with a special guest speaker at Turtle Lagoon.

Learn the story behind the turtles at Maui Ocean Center along with interesting green sea turtle facts. The talks are complimentary with aquarium admission.

“But what about that Turtleriffic whatchamacallit thing you mentioned?”

You’re a beast, but we like it that way.

Just for you, on Thursday, August 15 at 2 p.m.  learn about Hawaii’s beloved green sea turtles in an up close and personal setting during Turtle-rrific Thursday.

This complimentary (with admission) interactive program is hosted by Maui Ocean Center’s curatorial team at Turtle Lagoon. Guests will learn about the biology, behavior and diet of green sea turtles from the folks that care for the animals on a daily basis.

“That’s all fine and well, but I still have an aching emptiness inside. Give me more.”

You’re really insatiable, aren’t you?

You might want to look into therapy, but in the meantime prepare to embrace some fleeting satisfaction because Maui Ocean Center’s complimentary Sea Talk Series continues on Wednesday, August 14 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a presentation on Green Sea Turtles funkily titled “Da Honu: Charismatic Megafauna.”

Author and Researcher, Peter Bennett and his wife Ursula Keuper-Bennett have spent July and August at Honokowai every year since 1982. Together they’ve made over 2500 dives with the turtles of Honokowai, documenting their life on the reef.

Bennett’s presentation will focus on the Green Sea Turtle’s fascinating behavior and the cool things the couple has seen the honu do.

Ever seen a sea turtle smoke a cigar?

If it’s possible, these two will know about it.

If that’s not enough, on Wednesday, August 28, at 6:30 p.m. “Talkin’ Turtles: How You Can Get Involved with Saving These Iconic Species” will be presented by researcher and biologist, Cheryl King.

Renowned in Hawaii’s marine science community, King has researched turtles for over 17 years, and is in her fourteenth nesting season running Hawai’i Wildlife Fund’s Hawksbill Recovery Project, which focuses on the conservation of Maui’s nesting and foraging hawksbill population

True to its title, King’s presentation will focus on how you can get involved in saving sea turtles.

We suspect by now you’re begging for honu mercy.

That’s too darn bad because on Thursday, August 29, you will be able to witness the ocean release of six juvenile green sea turtles during Maui Ocean Center’s event, Holomua na Honu, held in partnership with Sea Life Park Hawaii.

For more information on these events or to make reservations for the special packages, please call 808-270-7088.

Have an idea for a fun, funny or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. – Vanessa (@mauinow.com)

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