Review Date AVG ShoreDiving Site
06/22/2018 5.00 Ahihi Bay Maui, Hawaiian Islands
Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. Went on a relatively calm day. Best snorkeling session of the vacation so far! Put face in water and was astonished to see I was on top of a school of fish that was 20x30 yards in area. They were grey and had pronounced dorsal and pectoral fins and they weren't going anywhere. They stayed pretty close to the shore in around two feet of water, swimming over the lava pebbles and content to be admired. Lots of living, breathing hard coral. Lots of algae-encrusted structure that the reef fish were continuously eating. Biggest rainbow parrot fish I've ever seen. Longest needlefish I've ever seen. Saw a fish that was built like a rainbow parrot but it was mostly red like a snapper. Yellow tang plentiful. The ranger who met us in the water wanted to make sure we weren't wearing reef-killing sunscreen. He also wanted us to know that we shouldn't stand on the reef. After a quarter mile walk across the worn lava rock trail we got the beach area that is comprised of black and somewhat smooth lava rocks. A second ranger met us and made sure we entered the water in a particular clearly marked area that she nevertheless pointed out to us. The park doesn't have lifeguards for people but it has a bunch of park rangers and volunteers who are serving as lifeguards for the reef. I'm happy about that, and I'm thankful they were able to keep it alive long enough for my family to get out to Hawaii to see it.
06/19/2018 4.25 Wailea Beach Maui, Hawaiian Islands
Snorkeled Wailea Beach June 19, 2018 from 1:15-3 pm at high tide. 5 mph wind, 2.2 ft. high waves. Parking was free, safe, and plentiful at Public Beach Parking, Wailea Beach Path, Kihei, HI 96753. We followed the path to the beach, headed south to the obvious rock peninsula that sticks out directly in front of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, and left our belongings in a small cave right by the water. As usual, the waves churned up the sand near the shore so we walked into the water fifty feet or so before putting our faces in the water. As we swam along the peninsula it became obvious to me that I was looking at the skeleton of what must have once been a stupendous, world-class snorkeling reef. It sorta looked a little bit silted over. And it's in a location where for half a century probably everyone slathered on the sunscreen before getting in the water. There were areas where it sorta looked like something may have been snapped off -- fan coral? Staghorn coral? It's not in great shape but for something in Maui you can access from shore it's pretty fantastic. There were still plenty of brain coral and the rocks still had lots of urchin-like creatures affixed to them in every nook and cranny. The red ones with the blunt spines were abundant and their color really livened up the place. The rocks had some green algae growing on them that attracted the star of the show -- the green sea turtle(s). Here's what we saw: Too numerous to count: Black Durgeon, sea urchin, green sea urchin, pencil sea urchin (red color, highly striking), Fewer than five spotted: green sea turtles, Moorish Idol (has long, string-like top fin), needlefish, yellowstripe goat fish, parrot fish (beautiful rainbow of colors, though mostly blue), yellow tang (striking!), Trumpetfish (very unusual shape). I saw one stunning fish I am unable to identify: half a foot long with navy blue lips. What we did not see: schools of fish, sharks, seals, sea cucumbers, rays, flounder, starfish, clams, oysters, crabs. Didn't even see crabs on the rocks at the waterline. This was the best snorkel spot of the trip so far. I would go back.
06/18/2018 3.86 Black Rock (Sheraton) Maui, Hawaiian Islands
Walked from Kaanapali Ocean Inn, Lahaina, Maui, HI north to Black Rock in Lahaina, Hawaii. Offered cracked Adobo nuts but nobody was interested. Saw sea slugs, sea urchins, red parrot, penant fish, yellow tang, juvenile puffer, and either Surgeon Fish or Parrot fish. Needlefish were common on the surface. Saw a blue trumpet fish that I initially mistook for one fish eating another. Got to hover over a green sea turtle who was grazing on vegetation. Continued to swim around the corner where it got deep. Looked down on huge school of fish. The best snorkeling I ever did is early 1990s Cozumel in front of the Coral Princess before the hurricane. Also Dahab. Black Rock isn't that good. The problem with Black Rock is lack of color and lack of soft coral. Other than that, Black Rock is pretty good.
06/18/2018 3.06 Makena Landing Maui, Hawaiian Islands
20-¦39'06.8'N 156-¦26'30.8'W 20.651899, -156.441885 is our entry point. We got in at the rocky part where the visibility was good even from shore. Good thing we had booties. The lava rocks were irregular and had I been barefoot I would have jammed my toes and maybe twisted an ankle. No colorful soft coral. All hard coral. Almost all the hard coral and rocks were covered with algae or silt and had a brownish green tint. Saw green sea turtles and shoals of yellow tang. Schools of silver fish. A couple sergeant fish. Lots of black spiny sea urchins. Lots of Slate Pencil Sea Urchin (red sea urchins that did not have sharp spines). Lots of hard coral. An occasional puffer fish. Hard corals that Matthew says look like black Pork Bun from Chinese restaurants. Might have seen some Surgeon Fish, but maybe they were parrot fish. Surgeon fish eat seaweed off rocks, as do green sea turtles, so it was probably surgeon fish. Getting out of the water, we decided to swim up to the sandy beach area. Visibility was fine in the deeper water. Due to the turbidity caused by the surf, the visibility at the beach area went to zero as we exited. It was pretty cool seeing the large green sea turtles. At one point, we saw two that were grazing side by side. That was cool. My son says he liked the snorkel but he never went to Lizard Island/Dahab/Cozumel etc. in it's prime so he doesn't have the burden of high expectations.
06/18/2018 3.03 Kamaole 3 Maui, Hawaiian Islands
Kamaole Beach Park III, June 18, 2018, 10:30 am. Very windy, 3' waves, advised by lifeguards that swimming and splashing and wake boarding would be great but snorkeling would be bad. Went anyway. A rock outcropping separates Kamaole Beach II from Kamaole Beach III. Our intention was to snorkel the north side of the outcropping on the K2 side but since the strong wind and current were pushing into the rocks, the lifeguards told us to go to K3 and snorkel it from the leeward side. The waves break around 50 feet from the dry sand beach and all the water in between was turbid and sandy. Once we got out past the crest of the big waves the visibility was no longer an issue. Lots of rocks, lots of hard coral, lots of spiny sea urchins in the crevices, not many fish at all. The star of the show was a ginormous green sea turtle who appeared out of nowhere while I was swimming back to shore through the low-viz sandy churn. Was practically nose-to-nose with him when I finally saw him. Startling at first, but I very soon recognized the magic of the moment and admired him until he disappeared again the liquid sandstorm.