Clothahump 1988
Clothahump 1993

Clothahump, 1988
Click photo to enlarge

Clothahump, 1993
Click photo to enlarge

To Clothahump

Turtle Trax is dedicated to a young Hawaiian green sea turtle we named Clothahump. We met her in 1988 when she was a "recruit" who made the shallows off Honokowai, West Maui, her home.

She befriended us, and by 1989 she would greet us the moment we arrived at her reef. By 1990, she had shown some impressive growth. We were happy to see her prospering to the extent that she had.

The home she chose (and our dive site) is sandwiched between a sewage treatment plant to the south (referring to it as a "wastewater reclamation facility" is a farce), and a concrete channel to the north that funnels run-off directly into her ocean during heavy rains.

By 1991, we had observed an increase in the number of sea turtles in the area with tumors. In 1992, we noticed some suspicious white spots on Clothahump's neck and shoulders. This worried us.

We saw her only once in 1993. The white spots had mushroomed into full-blown fibropapilloma tumors. We both cried underwater. That was the day that we vowed to tell Clothahump's story, and to help the ocean community on her reef.

We have not seen her at all since then.

Video of Clothahump

Odd as it might seem, we have few pictures and not much video of Clothahump. What we do have is mostly low quality. This is partly because Clothahump lived inshore in a place we never found. We almost never saw her away from the area where we usually began our dives, which meant that most of the time she simply wasn't around. This short clip is one of few.

Clothahump, 1992 on YouTube

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Last modified 07/09/15
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