If you're into snorkeling (and you should be), Maui is one of the best spots in the world. It's rugged lava is perfect for growing coral and forming reefs. This, in turn, attracts the sea creatures we love to see so much. You can pay one of the excellent tour companies to take you to one of the many offshore reefs. For the most part, you can just jump in your car, drive to a spot close to shore and see just as much. Use your Maui Revealed book, or Franko's Maps to show you where to go.
If you'd like to go out to Molokini, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Leilani, which operates as part of the Pride of Maui company. You may have a little trouble navigating the Pride of Maui site to find this specific trip. But, no worries, I've got the direct link for you right HERE. C.J. and his crew will take excellent care of you. In addition to their sparkling personalities, we love the size of the boat. I'm pretty sure the maximum number they take out is 21 per trip (24 life jackets minus 3 crew). If you've ever been out to Molokini, you know there are a lot of boats there. They all have their designated mooring spots, and keep their snorkelers where they can see them. So, if you go on a bigger boat you may find yourself (literally) bumping into 150-200 other snorkelers. We done this trip on many boats, and the experience on the Leilani exceeds them all. I shot the video below on a trip to Molokini in 2016 with them.
Here is my one safety tip which applies to snorkeling anywhere.
Our friends at Pride of Maui have released the above statement regarding Full Faced Snorkel Masks. We agree. I have personally used several brands of these. While some are better than others, none of them provide enough breathable air during exertion. Be sure to use a snorkel tube recommended by a trusted dive shop, and not one off of Amazon or a Department store. The extra money saved is not worth your life.
My Molokini 2016 Video
Here's a little video I shot while snorkeling at Olowalu.
Hawaiian Sea Creatures
Sharkbait: Hoo Ha Ha
"Hey, you keep talking about all these water activities on Maui.
What about sharks?"
Should you be worried about sharks? Not even a little. I'm not saying they aren't there or that you aren't entering their domain when you step into the ocean. What I am saying, is don't let it keep you from doing anything. Shark attacks are extremely rare. By averages, fatal attacks are almost nonexistent. Here are some of the things you're more likely to die from; Deer, Vending Machines and Falling Coconuts.
Now, I haven't always been this brave. Misinformation had me over-thinking it too. A few years back, we were getting our Scuba certification in Lahaina. Our instructor told us we were going to a place with a lot of sea life. "You'll see octopus, squid, eels, sharks, sea turtles...."
"Back up a sec," I interrupted. "Sharks!?" "Sure," he said. He must have had a good laugh to himself when I asked, "Tell me why I shouldn't be terrified?"
So, there we were, diving the Mala Pier in Lahaina. This pier was partially destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Thanks to a contractor, who thought it would be a good idea to mix the cement for the pillars and platforms with seawater. Seawater + Rebar = Bad.
So now, the fallen pillars and platforms have made a nice manmade reef. As promised, there were a large array of sea creatures. Almost immediately, our dive master led us to the sharks. Oh yeah, man-eaters. Well, not exactly. 6 foot White-Tip Reef Sharks aren't man-eaters. But, they could give you a nasty bite, I'd imagine. Anyway, if you ask anyone who knows me they'll tell you, I always have to be first. No different here. I was trying to line myself up in the best angle to video these monsters of the deep. In my haste to get into position, I failed to see the concrete pillar in close proximity to my shin. Ouch. I looked down to see if the bone was sticking out of the skin. Not even a scratch. Huh. I know I felt it. Whatever, there were sharks! I didn't realize I really did anything to it until we were standing on the shore afterwards. "What the hell did you do to your leg?" Heidi asked me. It was now bleeding. I guess the pressure at 40 feet didn't let it bleed as much. Probably a good thing with those carnivores nearby.
Later that evening, Ron and I were celebrating our scuba certification with a beer down at the hot tub with some other vacationers. We were all exchanging our stories about what we did that day, what we were doing tomorrow, when someone noticed my injured leg. They asked, "Oooh, what happened to your leg?"
Matter-of-factly I answered,
Another guide you might like to use are Franko's. Click the pics below, and buy the nicely laminated guides which are loaded with information.