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  • (dramatic music)

  • - [Narrator] When you look down at the magnificent

  • island of Kauai and all of its towering mountains

  • lined with lush forests, you likely assume

  • it must be crawling with reptiles and amphibians.

  • However, aside from a few invasive anoles,

  • this lost world is completely void

  • of your typical herpetological specimens.

  • Kauai, or the garden island, as it has long been nicknamed,

  • is considered the fourth largest

  • island in the Hawaiian chain.

  • And like all of its counterparts, is completely surrounded

  • by the warm waters of the Northern Pacific Ocean.

  • And the moment you leave the shoreline behind

  • and dive beneath the crashing blue waves,

  • you stand a really good chance of encountering one of

  • the ocean's most iconic reptiles, the green sea turtle.

  • - [Man] How about those turtles?

  • - (sighs) It might not be a bad idea

  • to come back here and do a seat turtle adventure.

  • - Mm, I like that one.

  • - In order to properly admire sea turtles in the wild,

  • you need to either snorkel or you can drop beneath

  • the surface and watch them from a safe distance

  • for a few seconds, or you can scuba dive

  • and spend nearly an hour visiting in their watery realm.

  • Well guys, it has been an epic trip to Hawaii.

  • And so far, our diving experiences have been A plus.

  • We've seen all sorts of incredible marine creatures,

  • but the thing that's really caught my interest

  • has been all of the sea turtles.

  • Now there is no way that I am going home

  • without getting a proper turtle episode.

  • So if you guys are ready, let's take the cameras beneath

  • the surface and get up close with these marine reptiles.

  • Today we will be joined by technical dive specialists

  • Mike Hanna and Brian O'Hara.

  • Considered by most to be Kauai's best dive team,

  • their expertise beneath the surface will help keep us safe.

  • And their knowledge of the area's wildlife

  • will assist in findIng these large ocean reptiles.

  • When people ask me what it's like to pull

  • on my dive mask and sink below the waves,

  • I once said it was a feeling of complete terror.

  • However, with the passing of each accomplished dive,

  • I became more and more comfortable.

  • And when it came to searching for sea turtles,

  • I couldn't get underwater fast enough.

  • Despite being endangered,

  • the green sea turtle is considered one of the most common

  • sea turtle species, with a worldwide range that spans most

  • of the tropical and subtropical oceans of the world.

  • When it comes to population density in the waters of

  • the United States, the Hawaiian Islands are without question

  • the place to see these majestic reptilian creatures.

  • So as we began to explore along the rocky

  • underwater outcrops, it was only a matter

  • of minutes before we came across our first sea dragon.

  • In their adult stage,

  • green sea turtles are mainly herbivores.

  • And they spend a majority of their time foraging

  • along rocky shallows, where they feast

  • upon a variety of sea grasses and algae.

  • Their serrated beaks work like pruning shears

  • as they drift on the undercurrents and feast away.

  • Males grow larger than the females,

  • and one of the most distinct differences between the two

  • is that the males, similar to snapping turtles,

  • have much longer and more robust tails.

  • Wow, that was amazing!

  • Amazing, the giant male, saw the male

  • and the female right next to each other.

  • The male's over here in the rocks feeding right now.

  • What was great is that I was able to get a shot

  • of them right next to each other so you can see

  • the distinct difference in the tail size.

  • Like I said the males have a much larger tail

  • than the females, so that was really cool to see.

  • I'm gonna kinda hang out in this area

  • and see if he moves back out.

  • - [Man] There he is.

  • - Do you see him? - Yep.

  • He's in the same spot, let's go.

  • - [Coyote] Okay cool, I'm going down.

  • With the camera in my hand,

  • I used the power of my dive fins to fight the current.

  • I was determined to get some epic shots.

  • Interacting with sea turtles is far different from any

  • other turtle species I have worked with in the past.

  • You certainly are not allowed to catch or even touch

  • these majestic reptiles, as strict regulations

  • require you to keep a respectful distance.

  • So to make this episode work, we simply had to admire the

  • animals as they naturally interacted with their environment.

  • (relaxed music)

  • Wow this is awesome, so we have the female green

  • sea turtle that's just hiding underneath the rock right now.

  • Actually down there resting.

  • Now they can stay underwater for a considerable amount

  • of time, close to 30 minutes when they aren't moving around.

  • So we're just kinda stay in this area and keep an eye on her

  • and when she gets ready to come up for a breath of air,

  • we're gonna try to get her to come to the surface.

  • As I sink back beneath the rolling waves,

  • my dive fins propel me forward.

  • I maneuvered past a reef, up and over some large rocks,

  • and suddenly before my very eyes,

  • I find myself in the City of Sea Turtles.

  • Trust me when I say that seeing

  • a single sea turtle can steal your heart.

  • So being in the presence of many sea turtles

  • at once is absolutely breathtaking.

  • They were peaceful sentient beings.

  • And their calm demeanor reminded me

  • of the time I swam with manatees.

  • Here I was again, a bipedal stranger

  • once more in a foreign watery land.

  • I was being accepted into their world

  • with completely open arms, or in this case, flippers.

  • I was literally surrounded by these giant ocean dragons

  • as they seemed to effortlessly glide

  • on the underwater currents.

  • As a human it took every ounce of my strength

  • to keep balance to the turbulent water,

  • as my body was constantly being tossed and turned,

  • pummeled and dragged over the jagged rocks.

  • Yet I was determined to get the shots.

  • Keep the turtles in the frame

  • is all I kept telling myself as they danced around me,

  • looking back with curious eyes

  • and a kindness that I had never before seen in a reptile.

  • For nearly 30 minutes I rode the currents,

  • witness to a complete turtle feeding frenzy.

  • Being no more than a few feet from the surface,

  • I was in no danger of drowning.

  • However, my dive team was running low on its precious

  • life-providing air, so I decided to call it a day.

  • I knew that despite the washing machine-like setting,

  • I had some amazing footage

  • and an animal encounter that could never be replaced.

  • As we kicked toward shore, and our designated exit point,

  • we left behind a world unlike

  • anything I'd ever been witness to.

  • A society of reptiles that was

  • thriving in a watery paradise.

  • Woo, talk about swimming in Turtle City.

  • - [Man] Unbelievable.

  • - [Coyote] Absolutely one of

  • the coolest things I've ever done.

  • Takes me back to the days that we filmed with the manatees.

  • At one point we were surrounded by green sea turtles.

  • - And they like accepted us. - Yeah.

  • - [Man] They were swimming right alongside us.

  • Like you would try to swim away

  • and then they would stick with you.

  • - [Coyote] The waves were just throwing us around,

  • what was so cool is watching the way that the turtles

  • reacted to all the swells that were coming in.

  • Just took a couple seconds as a guide.

  • You don't fight the current,

  • you just let your body go with it.

  • Your leg is definitely bleeding.

  • - [Man] I got a little nick from the coral reef there.

  • - [Coyote] Yeah, my legs are definitely

  • a little cut up. - Sometimes that happens guys.

  • No pain no gain, right?

  • - [Coyote] To get the shot,

  • sometimes you gotta shed a little blood, you know?

  • - [Man] Tell me what it's like,

  • I know diving has been something that you've been

  • excited about but didn't really know to expect.

  • - It's a whole different world out there beneath

  • the ocean waves, and at first when we started I was nervous.