Lest you think my blog is about to turn into All About Maui Inc., I promise you, it isn’t. Unless I move there of course. No plans as of yet, so I think you’re all safe. 🙂
Since coming back from our Maui vacation, it’s been a little rocky getting back on schedule. I think I finally experienced what true jet lag was. I really couldn’t move around much for a couple of days. And then the day job needed me as soon as I finally woke up.
I’m also really missing my Kona coffee fix. Kona has a slight sweetness other coffee doesn’t, and I crave it! Everything else tastes like dirt in comparison. Sheesh. So I think I’m going to call the company on the empty package and get a carton sent to me. Yep. It’s just that serious….
Anyway, I’m kinda glad I have these pictures to share, while I try and find time to do a little DIY and get back on track again.
Today, I’m going to share what I think is the best way to snorkel and snuba while on Molokini.
Molokini is a sunken volcanic crater in between some Hawaiian islands that is world famous for it’s snorkelling, and now snuba. (underwater snorkel)
It doesn’t look like much. If you google it, it resembles an eclipse. Air shots are much more impressive. But it’s all about what’s under water this round. Since there is no sand at Molokini, the waters are crystal clear, and when the sun shines, the coral lights up like a Christmas tree. It’s amazing!
And the tropical fish are truly abundant and gorgeous! No large sea turtles where we were, but apparently there generally are.
It’s ok… they’re super big and a little frightening to swim with if it isn’t an everyday thing for you. I ran into a few in our own private snorkel bay and that was enough for me.
The best way to snorkel while on Molokini
1. Pick a boat. A big or small boat.
Sounds obvious, but it kinda isn’t. You can pick a large charter boat that brings hundreds, or you can choose smaller that can carry 40. We chose the smaller variety.
And honestly, that was enough. When everyone is walking around, that’s still a lot of people. It was recommended to us to go small, so that’s what we did. And we were very happy with the attention to detail.
We chose Trilogy and the crew were light hearted and fun!
Also keep in mind, there are motor boats and sail boats. The treat about a sail boat is they will turn off the motors, pull up the sails and you’ll glide along in complete silence. It’s awesome!
2. Go early. The earlier the better.
An honest snorkel cruise will tell you to go to the early AM one vs the PM ones. The water gets really rough later in the day, and snorkelling is best when the waters are as still as possible.
So we needed to be at the marina by 6:30 to load. Ouch. Early while on vacay, however this round, the AM departure is not a gimmick. Just do it. Once we were out in the water even a couple hours later, it was really noticeable how much choppier the water got.
Snuba isn’t apparently new, but it was new to us. It’s underwater snorkelling that allows you to go about 20 feet underwater with only a 10 minute training session. ANYONE can snuba if you snorkel.
But not all charters offer it, so if there’s someone in your party that is adventurous, choose one that does.
Each snuba diver has their own tank on a floatation device with an airline. This allows them to dive without carrying any heavy apparatus on them. They put on belts with weights and off they go. My son had a blast!
Snuba is an extra $50 or so over and above snorkelling. But well worth it if you go all the way to Hawaii!
I stuck to snorkelling. That was enough for me.
Tip: If you ever rent your own snorkel gear, rent the BEST. It’s designed so water doesn’t enter the tube back down into your mouth should a big wave cover you.
Our own excursion was from 7 until after lunch. Some last all day, making several different stops. I felt ours was way long enough. Snorkelling takes effort and the wind from the boat ride will tire you out.
The cool thing about these trips are the food that’s included! For breakfast they served hot coffee and homemade warm cinnamon buns, lunch was BBQ chicken, rice and salad, and snacks in between everything were chips and homemade salsa, as well as ice cream.
Trust me when I say, I felt very fancy walking onto a sail boat with my beach bag in hand, grabbing a coffee and hitting the deck. What a way to greet the day!
5. Use the floatation devices and outlast everyone!
Proficient swimmers like to swim without anything holding them back. They dive into the water, come up for air and shoot the water out of the snorkel pipe thing.
Me? No way. I threw on a waist device (looked like a big fat sponge belt), entered the water down the stairs, and worked hard to get to the shore. And felt fatigued once I got there, only to have to return and work twice as hard against the ocean current to get back to the boat.
The 2nd time I went out, I also asked for a boogie board. That made all the difference in the world. When I felt tired, I climbed up onto the board to catch my breath. Best thing I ever did. I could have stayed out there all day.
Snorkelling gear is pretty hawt, this I know. 🙂 We’re snorkelling in our own bay at the condo here, but you get the idea. I used pool noodles to hold myself up here and it worked fantastic.
This is a shot from our own bay. As luck would have it, the underwater camera we rented ran out of battery power during our Molokini cruise! Drat!
The fish were equally gorgeous in our own bay, but the coral is covered with mossy stuff. On Molokini near the shore, the coral is squeaky clean and gorgeous.
That right there made the entire trip well worth it, because it’s something you can’t get on the beaches.
7. How do you get the best deal?
It appears that if you book through the agents at the hotels, they land you the best deals because they purchase blocks of time. That’s what we did and got a slight discount. So just compare.
(Click pictures to enlarge)
And because we chose a sail charter, they took a little shoreline cruise, caught the wind just so, cut the motor and let the sails do their thing. It was kind of like two excursions in one. Lovely! Neat to see Maui from a slightly different perspective.
Hope you enjoyed this little snorkel / snuba / sailboat adventure! I’d do anything to throw on the snorkel gear and hit some aqua blue water whenever I felt the urge.
Did you go snorkelling? What was your fav part about it?
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18 thoughts on “The best way to snorkel and snuba while on Molokini – 4”
Sounds so wonderful. I have never been or done any.
Talk about good timing…My hubby and I are heading to Hawaii next week, and I was interested in snorkling, but thought Id wait till we got there to investigate.
It will be more of a challenge for us, as my hubby is in a wheelchair, so hoping there will be a boat to take us out to accomodate him.
I have found all of your info very interesting and has helped so much, thanku!
That looks like so much fun! What a wonderful vacation you must have had. Cheers.
Thank you SO much for the step by step description and the photos! I love snorkeling and my first time (in Key largo)I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I can’t describe how relaxing it is to float around, looking at beautiful fish and other sea creatures. I really appreciate the tips- like going early (YES!, When that water gets rough, even the best of us can get seasick while in the water) and the one about the boogie board.
The Trilogy is the BEST! They have a great crew, great food and they are very environmentally conscious & responsible!
Glad you had such a wonderful time!
Awesome and beautiful pics. A wonderful experience for you and your son. Something you’ll never forget! Thanks for sharing your pictures with us!
What a magical wonderful vacation for you and your son to enjoy! I learned something too, I’d never heard of Snuba diving and thought for sure you’d made a typo in your post! Then I looked it up….wow, Snuba diving sounds really fun, in addition to snorkeling and scuba diving….I see where they come up with the name! Thanks. Saved your condo location on Maui too!
What a wonderful trip, one for the memory book. I did some snuba in Florida and it is wonderful, I loved every second of it, but boy will it wear you out, every time I did it I would go to bed early and sleep like a baby all night. I can only imagine how beautiful the coral is in Hawaii and the beautiful fish.
Snorkeling is the best. We lived on Maui 7 years and went snorkeling on weekends. Our favorite beach was between two hotels on Kehei side, Ulua beach. I was in the water by 7:30 and we left around 12. We had a coffee bar on one side and a cocktail bar on the other. How can you go wrong. My son still lives there with his family so we go often. I’m glad you had a wonderful time. Can’t beat it for a vacation. It is a magical place. My son is wonderful. He always sends my Kona Sunrise coffee fix.
Thanks for all the pics and insight. It’s nice to get to see these things through your experience. So beautiful.
I can see why people refer to it as paradise! Thanks for sharing glimpses of your trip with us!
Buy a Keurig Donna. They sell Tully’s Hawaiian blend which sounds similar to what you describe the Kona coffee to taste like. If you buy online from Keurig you get points each time you order toward future purchases.
Oh yay! Already have a Keurig, so I will be shopping! Thanks!
I love snorkeling! It’s been many years since I’ve gone though, so thanks for the beautiful reminders.
(I’ve never heard of snuba before either.)
Learning to scuba dive has been on my bucket list, but perhaps I can change that out to snuba, now that I know such a thing exists. Case closed. I will snuba one day!
What beautiful scenery. I think I like the idea of the silent sailboat choice, how peaceful that must have been. It had to be so enjoyable to watch your son take in the whole experience. And to think you were greeted with fresh coffee, it can’t get any more perfect than that. Thank you for sharing your day out on the boat. Great tips to keep in mind –> when I go snuba-ing!
Snuba is TOTALLY the way to start scuba diving without all the costs of being trained and certified. Great trial to see if you wish to go the extra step. I hope you have a chance to try it soon, Amy. My son adored it!
Thanks for sharing Donna! After living in Maui for nine years, it’s my 2nd home but it’s harder and harder to get back with a family of four and ticket prices now running $1,700 a piece from Michigan. I spent many hours paddling in the waters you traveled through on your excursion. Our canoe club was in Kihei so I spent almost every afternoon practicing from Ma’alaea to Makena(when the ocean is rough and windy and sometimes downright dangerous. So pretty yeah to see the island from the water? I especially love coming into Lahaina’s Harbor; the West Maui Mountains at sunset are to die for! I worked for Goodfellow Bros., Inc. while I lived there. We built most of the golf courses on the islands, but one of the other things they started doing after I left are the wind turbines. They did the ones in your photographs. Can you imagine how much power they generate in those winds? It’s a really cool hike too. You can get on it just past the tunnel. The hike goes almost straight up and then you hike over to the other side coming out near the turbines and down towards Ma’alaea. You can do that next time 😀
These are great tips, Shelley, thank-you! The locals always know the very best things to do… wish you had been in the neighbourhood at the time! These pics must make you a little homesick… I’m feeling the pull to go back looking at them myself… sigh. 🙂