• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Maui on New Year's Eve

Discussion in 'Hawai'i' started by kdurigan, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. kdurigan

    kdurigan Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Illinois
    14
    0
    The family and I are heading to Maui from snowy Chicago this week. The wind chill a week ago was -49F and actual temps were -9F. It warmed up a bit and dumped 20" of snow on us, followed by an ice storm last night. Tomorrow the forcast calls for 4-5inches of rain and flash flooding - I need to leave here... now... The flight leaves in 36 hours.

    We are newly certified and have never been to Hawaii. We have high hopes that we will take in some shore diving, boat diving, snorkling and general tourist stuff. We are staying at a 3-bedroom house/condo in Kihei for the majority of time so we should be pretty close to where the boats leave - at least that is what I have read. So a few questions for those of you that are on the island enough to comment would be great.

    We will be on Maui on New Years eve. Any suggestions of places I can go with the family (kids are 12, 17, 20 and 21)? That has obvious limitations since they are not adults. We will want a place with decent food, atmosphere, etc., but will not be able to do a typical new years bash.

    Since I most likely will be feeling pretty good on New years day (that is a first in a long time), I may even want to take in a dive the next day. This would be one of the first days we will be on the island so I would like something that works for us less experienced divers to start with. Is shore diving a good way to start out or do we just hit the boats right away? Any suggestions for a first dive would be most appreciated. Also, any recommendations on a good dive shop in the Kihei area that will work with newly certified people would be most helpful.

    My youngest son is 12 and NOT certified, but will want to snorkel. Any suggestions on where to go that would really leave an impression? I want to get him hooked as soon as possible. Also, if the rest of us are diving, any idea what we can do with him? Obviously we are not just going to leave him home alone.

    Also, unlike me, my sons and wife are skinny and chill easily - I have ample insulation... For snorkeling around Kihei, what would you all recommend? Are wet suits needed for snorkeling as well or just for diving? I bought my wife a 3mm wet suit for Christmas - I hope that is enough.

    Thanks in advance - I can hardly wait to leave the snow! (35 hours, 45 min and counting)
     
  2. ScubaSeanMaui

    ScubaSeanMaui Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maui
    1,270
    1
    I would say diving with B&B Scuba would be a great choice for you and your family. They welcome divers of all levels and with multiple DM's/Instructors, you can do a dive suitable to your profile while someone else can do something more advanced. Your kids can snorkel from the boat as well if they want to get up early to do so...

    Ulua Beach is a good place where your whole family can go to the beach, some can snorkel, and some can go diving. Makena Landing is a good easy dive as well. I don't think they really have advanced dives from shore since it's a very gradual grade out to sea... You just don't want to dive in bad conditions. The earlier the better since the wind comes up as the day progresses.

    Similar to Ulua Beach, you can dive and snorkel and hang at the beach at the Maui Prince which is south of Makena Landing. It's a really nice beach and it has really beautiful corals with some interesting fish you may not see at other spots. I saw a Hawksbill Turtle there last year... It's a dive site you want to dive when it's really flat.
    If there are waves it's going to be sandy and have surge.. It's probably once of the best spots to dive along the south shore... IMHO

    See how it goes. There are plenty of spots to rent suits if you need them. You may find you get sunburned if you snorkel a lot without any protection...

    I hope you have a great trip! Thanks for coming to Maui!!

    Maui No Ka Oi

    Sean
     
  3. KrisB

    KrisB Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    3,507
    15
    If you're looking for "wow" factor for snorkelers, you're not as likely to find it on the South Maui side as you are in many other areas of the county. Prime spot: Molokini. You should be able to find a charter that will take divers and snorkelers, so the certified divers can blow bubbles while the snorkelers float around.

    If you're wanting to do it from shore, I'd recommend heading up to Airport Beach -- aside from Aquarium and Fishbowl (which you can't legally access from land at the moment), it has one of the highest densities and varieties of fish I've seen.

    I'm not sure what area Sean is diving in front of the Maui Prince -- heaven knows I'd like to know the secret there! I dove that beach just about daily for several months, and you've got a decent swim to find anything significant for coral or marine life. At least you did two years ago -- and the underwater topography doesn't *usually* change that fast!

    I've heard great things about Honolua Bay, too... but you're coming at the wrong time of year for that to be a reliable spot... it's exposed to the north swells that we get in the winter.

    But please don't get me wrong -- both Ulua and Makena landing make great dives... but I just can't see either giving a "wow" factor to a snorkeler (though they both have great stuff for divers, and ok stuff for snorkelers).

    I'd be happy to show you around either site, or you could consider Maui Dreams Dive Co. -- they are the de facto shore dive specialists in South Maui.
     
  4. kdurigan

    kdurigan Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Illinois
    14
    0
    Just a few hours left before we get on the plane. It is raining so hard that for the first time ever, my house is leaking in a little water. I see that Honolulu lost power so I guess the weather in paradise is not always prefect either, but certainly better than here.

    When I get to Maui I will probably be looking for a guide, at least for the first couple of days. I'll visit a couple of dive shops to get a lay of the land. Kris, I have seen some of your other posts so I know you are in the biz. What is the lead time that you or most guides need?
     
  5. KrisB

    KrisB Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    3,507
    15
    Yeah, parts of Wailuku were without power at one point today, too.

    Sean posted a joke about this yesterday or the day before on the forum... :)

    As for lead time, it varies greatly. At the moment, I don't have much booked for the next week or so -- so the evening before is usually sufficient. Some shops, however, need a little more as they tend to book up quickly at times.

    Ultimately, as long as you're flexible with your dates, you should be able to get something... but if you want it for sure tomorrow, then you might be scrambling to find someone to work with you. Most shops will usually try and slot something together even at the last minute if they can.

    By the way: there is supposed to be an aerial fireworks display in Wailea (off a barge) this year... probably right in front of the Grand Wailea. There might also be one in Lahaina.

    There's an article in the Maui News about some of the New Year's celebrations around the island: Hau?oli Makahiki Hou - News, Sports, Visitor's Information - The Maui News
     
  6. ScubaSeanMaui

    ScubaSeanMaui Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maui
    1,270
    1
    There is coral from 10 feet all the way to the sandy bottom at 40 feet. At low tide you have to swim around the huge Lobe coral heads... I guess you missed them... A few swim throughs... Maybe you need to dive it again ... You sure you know where the dive site is?
     
  7. KrisB

    KrisB Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    3,507
    15
    Ahh, swimthroughs! You went on the south end of the beach (to the left of the hotel). When guiding divers from the hotel, we'd typically take them straight out to the turtle cleaning station (near where the Kai Kanani ties up). Most couldn't handle the surge / long swim to the stuff on the left -- at least not to get to the point where the viz was decent enough to drop down safely. We'd lead scooter tours on that side sometimes when the divers had already seen the Tank & Landing Craft.
     
  8. ScubaSeanMaui

    ScubaSeanMaui Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maui
    1,270
    1
    The Lobe coral is straight out in front of the beach. I've been all over the site. As I said I'd only dive the site when it's very flat. The vis is excellent then. Otherwise it's not a fun dive.
     
  9. Shaka Doug

    Shaka Doug Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753, middle of the 808!
    1,436
    133
    Thinking about diving under the fireworks that night myself. It's pretty kick a** hyperspace kind of experience.
     
  10. kdurigan

    kdurigan Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Illinois
    14
    0
    Thanks to all that replied to this thread. We are back in Chicago again, already missing the diving and snorkeling on Maui. KrisB, thanks for the airport beach recommendation - you were correct that it was a much better area than the south shores at the time we went. Ulua beach was good, but very cloudy due to the rain and surf in the past week. This was NOT a problem up in Kanapali where the water was still clear and the fish abundent. I did like Ulua beach and it would have been great on a clear day, but I did not have those conditions. So my advice to others that read this post is to take the drive North/west on windy or high surf days.

    I also decided that due to the poor visibility that shore dives were not a good idea. We dove Molokini several times as well as St Anthony's wreck and other turtle cleaning stations. By far, Molokini was the most clear and the fish were abundant.

    I went with Scuba Shack for my outfitter based on other comments on this board and was very happy with the deal. They were considerably less expensive than Maui Dive shop and had all brand new equipment. For $120 we got the 2-tank dives, food, new integrated weight BC's, dive computers, and some of the wet suits had not even been used yet. The crew on the boat were fun and helpful and pretty much took care of everything for us. We had 8 people on the boat on the 1st day and 10 on the second day so they were not overloaded by any means. I am new to this sport so I am not a good judge of whether this is normal or not, but my experience was good so I thought it worth passing on.

    Thanks again!
     

Share This Page