The Book of Honu: Enjoying and Learning About Hawaii's Sea Turtles
152pp. September 2008
The Book of Honu: Enjoying and Learning About Hawaii's Sea Turtles
Author: Bennett, Peter; Keuper-Bennett, Ursula;
This is the first guide to finding and observing Hawaiian green turtles, or honu. It describes an exciting journey of discovery undertaken by two avid sports divers, Peter Bennett and Ursula Keuper-Bennett, who encountered their first honu twenty years ago while diving off Honokowai, Maui. The Bennetts soon realized that many honu (and green turtles worldwide) were afflicted with debilitating and potentially deadly tumors. They began to document the disease using photographs and videotape and in the process educated themselves about the daily lives of honu. To their surprise, they discovered they were the first to make prolonged observations of a marine turtle population in its natural habitat.

Drawing on their extensive experience, the Bennetts explain how to find and watch honu from shore and while snorkeling, kayaking, and especially diving. They describe the behaviors they have documented over the years and what they might mean. Their rich collection of photographs will introduce readers to honu not only as a species, but also as individual animals whose histories they have closely followed and recorded.

Thanks to a highly successful conservation and research program and protection granted by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, encounters between sea turtles and humans in Hawai‘i have become common. Accessibly written and extensively illustrated, The Book of Honu will alert turtle enthusiasts and others on what to expect when they come across these gentle creatures and how to observe them respectfully.

72 color illus.

A Latitude 20 Book
"A magnificent guide for the budding high school marine biologist or anyone else with an interest in sea turtles. . . . Extensively researched, and the Bennetts’ passion for these creatures shines through every page." —Honolulu Advertiser (5 April 2009)
Author: Bennett, Peter; Keuper-Bennett, Ursula;
Since 1988 Peter Bennett and Ursula Keuper-Bennett have journeyed every summer from their home in Ontario to west Maui to dive with and learn from honu. They pioneered the use of underwater photography and videotaping in the study of honu and in 1995 developed Turtle Trax, the first web site devoted to sea turtles.
Read Chapter 1 (PDF).

1 How It All Began
A promise kept
Finding answers

2 So You Want to See a Turtle
Best place in the world to see sea turtles
Spotting honu without getting wet
Snorkeling with honu
Kayaking with honu
Diving with honu
Finding honu underwater
The nature of honu

3 About Honu
Why are they called green turtles?
A little sea turtle biology

4 Life as a Honu
The honu's life cycle
New arrivals
Younger and older honu
Sorting out the sexes

5 Honu at Home
Honu homebodies
The kuleana and its ohana
Honu at rest
Honu feeding
The faithful honu
Social structure
Can't we all just get along?

6 The Things Honu Do
Honu behavior
Honu in motion
The observations
The honu's castle

7 Those Other Guys
Other strangers

8 Honu Relationships
Honu and ancient Hawaiians
Honu in the era of exploitation
Honu in the era of protection
Honu today

9 Honu in Distress
The good news
Hatchlings as prey
Swimming with sharks
Humans and honu
FP and honu

10 Of Honu and Foxes
A perfect allegory

For further reading