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Safe snorkeling from shore in Maui?

Safe snorkeling from shore in Maui?

Old Feb 13, 12, 5:08 pm
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Safe snorkeling from shore in Maui?

Does anyone have some suggestions for safe places to snorkel from the shore in Maui? We will do a Molokini snorkel tour on one day, but am looking for some options from shore also.

We will be staying in Kihei for five nights (near KamIII), two nights in Wailea, and two nights in Kaanapali. Traveling with seven and 9 1/2 YO's with some experience.

Looking for safety over quality due to age of my girls.

Last edited by loomis; Feb 16, 12 at 11:51 am
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Old Feb 13, 12, 5:28 pm
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South Maui: Between KAMI and II, around the point is nice; a popular area is Ulua beach as you enter Wailea (it gets crowded; go early for parking). Those are both pretty safe, things to see near shore.
West-North: Black Rock at Kaanapali is supposed to be great (never been), but might be problematic for young ones if they stray too far (longshore current). Honolua Bay is "epic" but parking is difficult, and entry off a boat dock may not be what you want for younger folks.
Best bet is to ask the local dive shop, stating your criteria.
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Old Feb 13, 12, 6:41 pm
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Many years ago, we snorkelled at the 14 mile point, outside of Kanapalli - I remember that it was fairly good. I think that Maui Revealed lets you know of several spots.


DD
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Old Feb 13, 12, 10:25 pm
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We snorkel at black rock with our son - now 12, but has been snorkeling in HI since he was 4 - also the beach directly in front of the Westin timeshare in Kaanapali is wonderful. If your trip is during the winter, it is essential that the entire family has fins on just in case of a current. If it is in the summer, we usually snorkel without fins.
In case you are interested, there is a group of marine biologists called Ocean project. You can do private snorkel trips tailored exactly to your family group - very reasonable. It is educational and fabulous fun. You can google Maui Ocean Project, but the phone number is 808 667 6706. We always ask for a trip focusing on the sea turtles. Mel is the biologist we have used several times, and there are also others (I just forget their names).
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Old Feb 13, 12, 10:48 pm
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Black Rock at Kaanapali is your best bet - very safe, lots of people and some fairly decent coral blooms that are deep enough to prevent damage from fins and feet. Lots of fish and the odd ray - if the current and surf are calm, follow the rock out to the edge for the best snorkeling.

You'll probably see more at Black Rock than Molokini which is best for scuba and snuba.
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Old Feb 13, 12, 11:04 pm
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Kapalua Bay just north of Kaanapali is quite good fairly well protected, plus you can get a good lunch or diner st the Pineapple Grill.

Have not tried the beach at the Westin but will n a couple f weeks when we stay there.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 11:03 am
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Napili Bay is also good snorkeling with lots of families.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 11:54 am
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Our two night in Wailea will be at the Grand Wailea and our two nights in Lahaina will be at the Hyatt. We will most likely be using the pools on those days.

Our best snorkeling opportunity will probably be while in Kihei, since we are just staying in a condo then. The KamI and KamII suggestion would work well.

I did get Maui Revealed. I have read it twice so far.

Thank you everyone for your feedback.
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Old Feb 21, 12, 10:35 am
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Hawaii is one of the most unpredictable places for rip currents and knock-your-top-off waves, IME. Because of its geography - it doesn't have gradually sloping beaches like Florida or the Caribbean that make entering and exiting a breeze, but rather a short beach and steep shelf, all of which are laden with lava rocks -- snorkeling from the beach can be a tricky enterprise.

Ease of entry/exit is one reason why snorkeling trips are so popular. On a boat, you can put on your mask/flippers then hop in the water. You don't have to time waves or worry about rip-currents that can prevent you from reaching land.

Nonetheless, Here are a few beaches that I'd try with youngsters:

a) DT Fleming Beach - this is one of the few lifeguard-manned beaches on Maui. Ask them for advice as to what side is the safest. And, of course, ask them to keep a close eye on them.

b) Honolua Bay - it's usually one of the most protected, calmest bays on Maui. You can enter from an old boat dock, so entry/exit is much easier than other places.

c) Makena Beach - the topography protects this beach from a lot of the rough surf.

No matter what you choose, I'd recommend snorkeling in the morning before the tradewinds pick up in the afternoon.

Also, I'd advise buying them brightly colored snorkeling vests. Not only do these help others see them, but they have an inflation valve that turns the vest into a quasi-flotation device, if needed.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by 7E7 View Post
Kapalua Bay just north of Kaanapali is quite good fairly well protected, plus you can get a good lunch or diner st the Pineapple Grill.
Agree Plus there are restrooms, showers, close parking, and shade.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Recreation View Post
...or worry about rip-currents that can prevent you from reaching land.
Indeed.

This is a friend of a friend:

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/1...iles-from-land

Note:

Folsom said the currents moved him miles in one direction, then back again. At times he got so close to land he was sure he would be able to swim ashore only to have the currents reverse and pull him back out to sea.

"I almost got to shore at Mokuleia," he said. "I could see individual people. I could see cars and tents. You know, it was just ... I could taste it. So it was kind of heartbreaking to realize, no - not again. I couldn't get a break that night because I went back around the point and I couldn't get in anywhere. Any direction I went the current just kept pushing me back away. I just conserved my energy, didn't want to panic. There was no way you could beat the current."
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Old Feb 24, 12, 10:47 am
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Yikes. The last couple of posts are informative, but a little alarming.

We will stick with the Kams, since they have lifeguards.
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Old Feb 26, 12, 7:09 am
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Originally Posted by loomis View Post
Yikes. The last couple of posts are informative, but a little alarming.
I don't want to scare you away, but everyone who visits Hawaii should have a healthy respect for the ocean. No matter where you go, be it Hawaii or Australia, keep your eyes open for flags that warn you of dangerous ocean conditions and know what a rip current looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hCZuYzNujI
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Old Feb 27, 12, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by loomis View Post
Yikes. The last couple of posts are informative, but a little alarming.

We will stick with the Kams, since they have lifeguards.
well... you do need a healthy respect for the ocean anywhere, but this is probably worrying a little too much. depending on when you are going, there is a lot of well protected areas in Maui with good snorkeling- Honolua being one that's already been mentioned (probably good in summer, not so good in winter).
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Old Feb 27, 12, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by mander View Post
Napili Bay is also good snorkeling with lots of families.
Meh.. Napili Bay is certainly amongst the safest snorkeling, but it's pretty dull. Kapalua Bay across the street is better, IMHO.

Personally, I think one of the best spots is Little Makena beach, but the sights your kiddies might see OUT of the water might be more than you care to expose them to (it's a nude beach, and very heavily used as such).

Overall, your best bets are probably Black Rock by the Sheraton Ka'anapali, and Honolua bay north of Kapalua.

Last edited by DJGMaster1; Feb 27, 12 at 6:23 pm
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