At first, I wasn't too into the idea of the boat tour. In my opinion, the ocean in Hawaii is best seen up close and personal, snorkeling or swimming in that gorgeous, turquoise water. But of course, it isn't always possible for young children (my kids were 2 and 6 at the time) to experience the ocean that way. So off we went.
The glassed-in, lower observation deck on the Reef Dancer was somewhat noisy because of the engines, but the kids were fascinated by the water and the windows as soon as we got down there. Even my son, who usually has a problem with loud, unknown noises, seemed to handle it fine because he loved the view so much.
And then we saw the sea turtle. Just this graceful, slow-moving apparition in the water. It swam right towards us and underneath the boat, before heading off and disappearing into the deep blue, apparently rather uninterested in us humans and our boat.
If you want to find out more about Hawaiian sea-turtles, there is lots of information on the Internet, including The Hawai'i Wildlife Fund's website.
Photos taken by my very talented sister.