We Dive Maui!
After an incredible diving
experience in Cancun and Cozumel, we were totally pumped to get in the
water in Hawaii. We knew we wanted to make the
Manta Ray night dive on the Big Island, and we knew we wanted to do
some deep dives as well, so we figured we had better get our advanced
open water certification. We checked into taking it at our local
dive shop, but then we thought, "What better place to take it than
Hawaii?". Since our initial destination was Maui, we signed up
to take the class with B&B Scuba, located in Kihei, where we were
staying. Our second day in Maui, we hit the water with our
navigation dive at Ulua Beach.
The water was 75 degrees, so I opted
for a long-sleeved shorty and Sandra a full-length 3mm suit, both of
which worked out great. The dive was a shore dive, and only
20-feet deep. The visibility wasn't the greatest, at around 50
feet, a rude shock after the 200-foot vis in Cozumel, and there were
far fewer fish. We saw a spotted moray, tang, trunkfish,
flounder, and needlefish, along with some nice hard coral formations,
but nothing too spectacular. Our instructor seemed bored and
annoyed to be there, which kind of bummed us out, but it was just nice
to be in the water again, and we couldn't wait for more.
That night we headed back to Ulua
Beach (which was disappointing) for our night dive. We had a
different instructor this time, which was nice, and one other diver.
This was our first night dive, and offered little to see. We saw
and handled (a change from Cozumel, where you're not allowed to touch
anything) urchins (the other diver set his hand down on an urchin, and
received a palm-full of spines!), crabs, octopus, and morays, but
overall the reef was somewhat devoid of life. The fish
were few and far between, as they had been during the day. While
the dive site was less than exciting, it was a fun experience to do a
night dive, and I looked forward to more. Sandra didn't enjoy
the night diving very much, as there wasn't anything to see, and told
me that I could go alone next time...
We rose at 5:00AM the next day, as
we were at the pier by 6:00AM, by far the first boat in the water on
the way to Molokini Crater. The shop owner was going to be our
instructor for the day, and he knew that the only way to avoid the
crowds at Molokini was to be the first! We headed off on a short
15-min. ride to the crater, and waited for the sun to rise as we
assembled our gear. The seas were very rough, and our instructor
thought that most of the snorkel boats
wouldn't be coming out there that day. After pitching and
rolling while getting geared up, it was nice to finally jump in.
It was a lot calmer down there. We were psyched about the
much-improved visibility in the crater, around 100 feet or more.
This was to be our deep dive, and we descended down to 130 feet at
Middle Crater, where we were asked math questions underwater. As
we began our touring, we were startled by several grey and white-tip
reef sharks that had come over for a visit. They were remarkably
active, usually hiding out under a rock, they were now swimming all
over the place. It must have been feeding time. Sandra was
surprised at her level of calm, as she had always insisted that if she
saw any kind of shark, she would freak out! We also
saw a splendid display of reef fish, including many varieties of
butterfly fish, squirrelfish, and tang, along with several morays.
As we were diving quite deep (required for our Deep Dive
certification), we felt like we missed out on much of
the Molokini experience, though swarms of fish schooled around above
us. Upon exiting the water, I chummed for fish over the side
almost immediately, and they swarmed to the surface for the feeding
frenzy. I found out later that my seasickness patch had come off
during the course of the dive. Overall this was an excellent
dive site, and if you can avoid the crowds by coming early, this is an
entertaining site to dive as well as snorkel.
Next it was off to Aloha Point,
where we were taking our first real stab at underwater photography.
We snacked on cookies, Hawaiian bread, and pineapple, while everyone
battled seasickness from the rough water. Armed with Sea&Sea
cameras with external strobes (pretty good cameras to learn on, we
thought...), we jumped in and
almost immediately were snapping away. We got some good looks
for our first attempt, though they looked really amateur. We
encountered a green sea turtle on this dive, the first we'd ever seen,
and also more reef sharks and morays, but few fish. This
reef wasn't the best, but it was shallow, and the water was more
sheltered from the wind and much calmer than that of Molokini.
The visibility was modest, at around 70 feet, and the current was
fairly calm, but sea life was minimal and the coral was bland.
By now we were getting a bit discouraged about diving in Hawaii, after
the splendor of Cozumel. Well, we figured, we've paid for it, we
might as well enjoy it... As I boarded the boat, I chummed for
fish once again, without my patch.
That afternoon, we packed up and
headed back south, this time to Makena Beach, for a scooter dive.
We were stuck with our first instructor, who was even more bored and
unenthusiastic than before. At the shore, there was zero
visibility, as sand filled the water, but we hoped that we could swim
out past it and get in some diving. We headed out into the surf,
and put on our gear. Somehow during our entry, I managed to drop
one of my fins, as I was holding the fins under my arm while holding
the scooter in the other and trying to put on my fins. I looked
all around, but in zero visibility, I couldn't find it. The
instructor didn't even try to help look, but just sat there looking
impatient. We finally had to abandon the fin, and I tried to go
out without it. Since we had scooters, I figured I could get by
without it. Then, as we were descending and scooting out, my
weight belt fell off! Good thing we were only ten feet or so
down! The instructor just sat there and looked annoyed
some more, and I had to ask another diver who was returning to dive
down and get it for me. He did, and we tried again. The
visibility remained nonexistent, however, so we headed back to shore.
The instructor called around, and found that the other shore dive
spots were also zero visibility, and we reluctantly called off the
dive. We paid for five dives, but our schedule didn't allow us
the time to reschedule this one. I spent a while looking for my
fin, but to no avail. That night, I returned to the site and
posted a sign on a tree with bubble gum, hoping someone would find my
The following day, as I was
fin-shopping in Lahaina, moments before I made a purchase, I decided
to call B&B and see when we should stop by and get our temporary
cards. "We found your fin!" the shop owner exclaimed.
Apparently a diver at Maui Dive Shop had found it and called the shop
because he saw my sign! That made my day for sure! We
stopped in later, and one of the guys in the shop helped us analyze
our photos from Aloha Point, and was very helpful and friendly.
We got photos taken for our cards, and picked them up the following
B&B Scuba has contacted us several
times since we put up this site, apologizing for our experience and
offering to make it up to us. We appreciate the offers they've
made very much, but we really don't feel they owe us anything.
The instructor who we spoke about above no longer works for them, and
we never complained to them while we were there, so they had no way to
know there was a problem. It's good to know, though, that
they really do care about the quality of the experience that their
clientele come away with. The other guys in the shop were
very professional and we really liked that we were the first boat to
Molokini. Overall, we would recommend B&B Scuba to anyone.
We've also received e-mails from other divers who have all had good
experiences with B&B.
After a day off of diving to visit
the island of Lana'i, we headed off at 6:00AM sharp to meet Ed
Robinson's Diving Adventures at the Kihei Boat Ramp, where we loaded
up for a trip to the
Cathedrals of Lana'i...
Mike Severns Maui Scuba Diving
Maui’s waters offer some of the most amazing SCUBA diving
in the world! Enjoy an educational, personalized dive with the experts
at Mike Severns Diving.
Extended Horizons Maui Scuba Diving
Extended Horizons has been serving Maui visitors and residents
since 1983. Join them on a Maui Scuba Diving excursion you’ll never
Trilogy Maui Scuba Diving
Enjoy an unforgettable Maui scuba diving adventure with Trilogy.
Maui dive locations include a day trip to Lanai and a twilight and night
dive to Molokini.
Top 50 Sports Sites to cast your vote for Johann & Sandra's Hawaii
Beneath the Waves!