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Right around the corner from the resort community of Ko Olina lies Kahe Point, which marks the beginning of the Wai‘anae Coast and also happens to be a popular diving spot for both locals and in-the-know visitors.

When
10:42am
6.17.13

Where
Kahe Point, O‘ahu

Off its sandy haven dubbed Electric Beach, Klaus Stiefel headed into the water one morning. This Austrian-born neurologist, who was visiting from Australia, enjoys underwater photography as a hobby and encountered an unexpected visitor at his shoot. As he proceeded with his dive, a Hawaiian monk seal happened to swim by. “The seal was curious and not too shy of us divers and snorkelers,” he says. In fact, it was the first time that Stiefel had even seen the native seal in the ocean. Since the species is endangered, the doctor took care to give the sea animal all the space it needed while passing. Looking at the final photo, Stiefel realizes what a rare opportunity he had. He also hopes that other ocean lovers will help take care of the seals and their environment.