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Diving Maui

Maui offers endless opportunities for diving year round.  Most vacationing divers believe that their only option is taking a boat charter, which typically go out to Molokini for the first dive, then back to a dive site just off the South or West Maui Coasts.  While I enjoy boat diving, I saw far more marine life diving from shore, and it's a lot cheaper.  There are a number of dive shops in South and West Maui that rent gear and will take divers, unfamiliar with the Maui waters, on shore dives to a variety of sites.

Maui's West facing coast lines are, generally speaking, endless sandy bottoms that gradually descend as one goes Map of Maui from straight out from shore.  Many shore dives do not go any deeper than 50 feet.  That is how gradual the depth increases.  One can go up to a half mile off shore and not go deeper than 50 feet.  Many areas have little or no currents, but there are some areas, like Red Hill (Big and Little Beaches and Black Sand Beach) that have strong currents due to tidal effects.  What makes these West facing coastlines more interesting are the frequent "fingers" of lava rock that extend out from shore.  They are covered by coral and, therefore, attract many species of tropical fish, Manta Rays, Sand Sharks, Jacks, Spotted Eagle Rays, a variety of eels including the large Moray Eels and of course Green Sea Turtles and, possibly, the much rarer Hawksbill Turtle.

By the way, if you would like a dive map of Maui, like this, just click the map.

There is a lot of opportunity, off the shore, to see interesting locations that have coral encrusted outcroppings that are loaded with fish, that are not sites used by the commercial dive charters.  This is particularly true of areas of coastline that are designated "reserves".  Boats can not go into reserve areas, but divers from shore can.  Ahihi Reserve in Makena, South of Wailea in South Maui, is one such area. We dove this area many times and always enjoyed the dives for the abundant fish, Green Sea Turtles, Eels (particularly Moray Eels).