Snorkeling Molokini, Maui’s premier snorkel and dive site


Recently I had the pleasure of going snorkeling at Molokini through the Maui Dive Shop.  I spent more than a few hours on board their new catamaran, Ali’i Nui, and had a great time.  The catamaran is an impressive 65′  from stem to stern and 36′ port to starboard.  On board, they think of everything!  We were picked up at 7AM from our hotel lobby in their van and taken to Maalaea Harbor where we boarded the cat and made our way below to sample fresh fruits, muffins, bagels, croissants, yogurt, coffee, tea and juices.

Don and Carol

Lovely couple enjoying the sail together

Heading Out

We set out with about 50 people on board for Molokini.  Folks were sunning themselves on the forward trampolines and others were aft talking about their vacations and all they had done so far on Maui. There was a lovely couple on board who loved snorkling but he was going to be unable to snorkle that day as he had “overdone” himself a few days earlier and thrown his hip out.  He was along to enjoy her snorkel experience.

Snorkling with Maui Dive Shop

Snorkling with Maui Dive Shop

We particiapted in a “guided snorkel safari”.   All snorkel equipment is provided comlimentary and included optical masks and wet suits if desired. They had on board premium silicon masks, US Divers® dry snorkels and Velox™ vented fins.  There were also boogie boards, water noodles, wet suit tops and large terry beach towels .  They even have a refreshing “rinse-off” that washes you down with a heated fresh-water shower after the salt water snorkel.

Molokini Island

Molokini is a u-shaped remnant of what is called a tuft cone – a volcanic crater that has eroded over the centuries and is now a Marine Life Conservation District Seabird Sanctuary – protected as a bird sanctuary as well as a fish preserve with over 250 species of marine life.  It is located about 2 and half miles off Maui’s south shore.  You may not go onto the island, nor take from or leave anything behind.  They do not allow feeding of the fish as it would impact the balance of nature.  Even though there had been rain and storms in the days previous to our visit, the visibility was amazingly clear and the gentle waves would carry us right up to the edge of the island, yet float us away so as not to scrape the coral at the edge.

Snorkling area at Molokini

Snorkling area at Molokini

In the water

The water temperature was about 77 degrees.  The initial plunge was sobering but one quickly adjusts to the temperatures as you swim around wth the fish.  One school in particular seem to enjoy swimming with people so you are literally swimming with a school of fish bumping you and guiding you.  We saw sea urchins, trumpet fish, coral beds, as well as many different colorful fish I have no names for, although the crew and safari leaders knew most every name if you wanted to stop by their boogie boards and ask.  Most people stayed in the water for about 90 minutes and then ascended the ladder to take their turn at the warm water rinse off.

Lunch, sailing and more

Lunch was served with Kona coffee, juices, sodas and water.  Lunch included Roasted Pepper & Garlic Hummus, Pita Bread, Kula Tomatoes and Maui Onions, BBQ Pulled Pork, Teriyaki Chicken, Classic Caesar salad ala Bistro, Zesty Pasta Salad, Potato Salad, Whole Wheat Bread and Butter, Fresh Fruit Salad. All that was followed by yummy White-Chocolate Macadamia nut cookies, and Fresh Pineapple.  There were celebratory toasts with white sparkling wine to a marvelous crew, enjoyable company and the time we shared together as we returned back to the harbor and the end of a lovely excursion with Maui Dive Shop and the crew of Ali’i Nui.

Here is a video of sailing on board the Ali’i Nui:

For More Information:

Maui Dive Shop
Ali’i Nui Catamaran

For reservations, book online at this website or call 1.800.542.3483


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