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First time to Maui - Some questions

Discussion in 'Hawai'i' started by James Darren, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. James Darren

    James Darren Angel Fish

    Hi all,

    I've been to Oahu & Kona a few times in the past but this will be my first trip to Maui, potentially going there in 10 days time. Very much looking forward to it...

    My girlfriend will be there also & she just finished her PADI pool/referral class.
    Can anyone recommend a place for her to finish up her open ocean dives in Maui?

    I'll be there for 2 weeks total & plan to dive every second day or so.
    Any recommendations for either boat or shore dives?
  2. Snoweman

    Snoweman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    The Molokini crater is where I did a couple of dives. It was just OK. I'm told the back side is a fun ride, but only for advanced divers. Not a place to take a new diver. My friends loved the snorkeling off of Wailea beach, and there are some shore dives (I did a night dive a little south of there. We did our dives with Maui Dreams. I was happy with them, but the DM got lost twice during the night dive.
  3. Byrdie

    Byrdie Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NJ
    I liked the sites just off Lanai. Several of the boats out of Lahaina go there regularly
  4. pjhansman

    pjhansman Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario, Canada
  5. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Where are you staying? There are shops/boats in the Lahaina area or shops/boats in the Kihei area. It's about a 45min drive between them and the Kihei boats leave around 6am to get over to Molokini b4 the tradewinds pickup (smaller boats)

    Maui Dreams Dive Co. would be a good choice for the g/f in Kihei - they do their referrals off a beach nearby. They're mostly a shore dive operation although they have a boat in Ma'alea about 10mins north of Kihei. All the south Maui boats either go to Molokini or dive along the coast. The Lahaina boats go to Lanai except Lahaina Divers sends a boat down to Molokini once or twice a week. All the Kihei-based boats leave from the Kihei boat ramp sort of on the north end of town. Maui Dive Shop or MDDC's boat leave from Ma'alea about 10mins drive north. The Lahaina boats all leave form Lahaina harbor.

    There's more shore dives closer together in South Maui. Many of the beaches are shore dives, Polo, Ulua, Wailea, Makena Landing, 5 Caves etc. Most of these are in Wailea which is south of Kihei.

    There's not really a good shore dive in Lahaina but Sheraton Black Rock in Ka'anapali would be an easy dive for your gf and kind of fun - snorkelers overhead.

    Old Airport Beach is an easy entry dive a few minutes north but it's not the best near shore. Napili Bay further north is decent, past it is another shallow dive at Kapalua - which is also one of the nicest beaches on Maui. Not always but at most sites the more interesting stuff is off the points since they're often volcanic. Tiny Bubbles is based in Ka'anapali and all they do is shore dive. Extended Horizons does in the afternoons also. Mala Pier is a good dive, it's shallow, the legal entry is over some rocks but it's not bad. If a DLNR agent is in the parking lot, don't go down the ramp - it's a ticket.

    Here's a list: Scuba Shore Diving Site Listing for: Maui, Hawaiian Islands

    Lahaina Divers has 2 big boats and they usually go to Lanai. The Cathedrals are the signature dives there - there's 2 and they're somewhat overhead obstructed but have a lot of easy "outs"
    The farther west you dive Lanai the more challenging - there's some fast drift dives. We like Sharkfin, inside the bay is pretty benign with octopus in the wall, around the outside is ripping usually but there's 1000's of fish holding there.

    Molokini is pretty benign, it's a sunken volcano that calms the water inside. The corners have some deeper dives and the Backwall is often a live drop drift dive - the bottom is about 300'. Almost always see sharks there - we've even seen some white tips in the sand flats on the protected side. Also one of the deeper dives is Shark Condos.. South Maui shore has a few WWII wrecks - some of the operators do them as a 2nd dive. No preference but Mike Severns runs a nice trip, smaller boat and they're all naturalists. B&B Scuba also and I believe they shore dive afternoons. You can get tanks from them or MDDC - or the main Maui Dive Shop is in Kihei also. MDS has several convenient locations along the entire west coast - one in Kahana Gateway mall is handy for the northern west side dives as you can pull right in off the main road.

    Besides Lahaina Divers - who have two big Newton Dive boats (for the gf) there's also Extended Horizons and Hawaiian Rafting Adventures. Once or twice I've seen people coming back on EH's boat - they're often wet. HRA runs a hard bottom RIB - I watched it get tossed around pretty good off Lanai once.

    One thing to be aware of is there's several booking agencies that will book you on another shops boat but don't clearly indicate it on their website. It's the same boat so why use a middleman.

    apparently I've been to Maui Too many tines...lol

    although not recently
  6. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
  7. Byrdie

    Byrdie Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NJ
    Definitely the Sheraton Black Rock in Ka'anapali for a new diver. I took my sons there for their first dive ever They did well and liked it.
  8. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    I think Molokini crater (or craters end) s a good one to do, especially with a new diver. Maybe not the best diving around but just iconic and unique, how often do you dive in a crater? The backside is better, but not a place for new divers. The ride out there can be rough, more so coming back later as things tend to kick up as the day goes on, so make sure you’re ok with that. (You’ll notice the boats tend to leave early.) We did an afternoon trip once and it was, um, exciting. But there were fewer people out there and we spent most of a dive with our own personal manta.

    It’s been awhile, but Turtle Town was very memorable.
  9. Rocknrone

    Rocknrone Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Idaho
    I think mala pier is the best shore dive there
  10. Steve Eady

    Steve Eady Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Maui

    My favorite shore dive is Mala Wharf. You can pretty much count on seeing a lot on a dive there. My second favorite is McKenna Landing. Much better scooter diving it. We get to little reefs that are very healthy but are very hard to reach from shore kicking.

    Scuba Steve
    Maui Dive Connection

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