The Book of Honu

The Book of Honu

     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 of 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. This special group of honu includes Clothahump, the one who started it all; Tutu, who has made the 500-mile migration to her nesting grounds at least six times and shown amazing fidelity by returning to the same spot on the reef after each migration; 5692, who vanished for twenty years until she decided to make her nest on the busiest beach in Lahaina, Maui; Nui, a youngster suffering from tumors who went on to beat the disease and mature into a handsome adult male; and George, the survivor of a particularly vicious shark attack.

     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.

     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.


Price: $18.95