COVID. Turtle traffic. With the seasonal lack of swell to bond over, the two issues are dominating conversations on the North Shore and greater Oahu. But recently the watchful eye of social media has elevated the concern for Laniakea’s turtles from Foodland checkout-line banter to state-wide media coverage – and this time traffic along Kam Highway is the least of the island’s worries.
A perennial favorite among surfers, especially on a north swell, Laniakea, or Lani’s, is also a choice destination for Chelonia mydas – green sea turtles in need of a snack and some sun. The turtles have only recently moved from the endangered species list to the threatened species list, and frequent the wide cove’s protected waters, nibbling on the plentiful limu (seaweed) in the shallows before scooting to the sand to bask in the sun. Turtle spotting at Lani’s is a guarantee, and the local secret has made its way onto every must-do list for Oahu tourists.