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Maui Shore Diving Official Guide – Breadcrumbs Guide

I am so excited to share this Maui Shore Diving Guide with you from a pal of mine, Caitlin Maratea! She and her husband, Kevin, own Banyan Tree Divers on Maui, and she or he was our instructor for Garren’s and my first ocean dives after getting SCUBA licensed in Minnesota.

That’s me! and a turtle! I feel we saw about 100 of them. Do you see Garren peeking around the coral? Caitlin additionally took photographs during our dive, which was so cool to be able to look again and see it all once more!

We beloved that Banyan Tree Divers did shore dives, because it seemed like a neater entry into the world of SCUBA. I was undoubtedly slightly nervous about dropping into the deep. But slowly following the sandy bottom from shore to a stunning reef? Yep I can do this! Not many dive corporations had the evaluations or expertise that Banyan Tree might give us, so it was a simple selection. Garren and I have been so impressed with our expertise with Caitlin, we signed up together with her again once we got here again to Maui this yr.

Caitlin actually knows her stuff with hundreds of dives beneath her belt, and I wouldn’t need anybody else guiding me once I’m shore diving on Maui. So once we met up once more this yr I requested her if she want to contribute a guest information for you all. I’m so completely happy she stated yes!

So I’ll cross it off to Caitlin and her superior underwater photographs of all of the locations she will take you shore diving on Maui!

Maui Shore Diving

Hello everyone, I’m Caitlin Maratea and I’ve been diving for 12 years. I have led over 2,000 dives on Maui and counting! My ardour for educating and scuba diving made turning into a dive instructor a natural career selection. I possess a profound respect for the ocean and its inhabitants, and I attempt to use every dive as an avenue to speak to individuals about coral reef and ocean conservation. My husband, Kevin, and I began Banyan Tree Divers in 2013 to offer Maui visitors protected, fun and educational dive experiences. Our hope is that this information will give these interesetd in diving on Maui unique perception into the superb beauty Maui’s reef system has to supply, whereas maintaining consciousness of defending its delicate and finite coral reef surroundings.

Why Shore Diving?

Maui shore diving is shortly turning into probably the most well-liked activities on the island. Scuba and Snorkeling are presently ranked 1st on TripAdvisor’s record of things to do on Maui. The accessibility to beautiful reef methods coupled with the convenience of ending two morning dives earlier than lunch, makes many divers assume twice about committing to lengthy dive excursions to neighboring islands. It is little recognized that a lot of the greatest dive websites on Maui are actually shore dives. Whether you are a seasoned licensed diver or have never tried diving before, there are engaging sights and circumstances for any degree of scuba diver. We’ll talk about common websites, what you’ll be able to anticipate to see, and ideas and tips for shore diving on Maui safely.

West Maui Shore Diving

Maui Shore Diving - Airport Beach

Airport Seashore (Kahekili Reef), Kaanpali:

Situated in front of the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resorts villas, recognized regionally as Airport Seashore, is a stretch of fringing reef that extends along the shoreline. This dive website is a superb residence base for Banyan Tree Divers because the coral reef begins immediately and does not require an extended surface swim to start the dive. Shallow sandy channels make nice “classrooms” for educating students how you can dive, and hidden coral heads in depths of as much as 80ft make this website incredibly versatile for all ranges of diving. Circumstances through the summer time months are often lake calm allowing for optimum visibility and lightweight.

What you possibly can anticipate to see:

Except for the colourful neon inexperienced to shiny purple corals, divers can anticipate to see quite a lot of marine life. Moray eels are a standard sight. The yellow margin moray eel is a large resident rising to lengths of up to 4ft (1.2m). In case you are fortunate you possibly can typically see these hunters free swimming within the open on the lookout for injured prey as a simple meal. Slightly smaller noticed moray eels can be seen hiding in coral crevices. This can be a good purpose to not reach into any holes that could be residence to defensive moray eels. Banyan Tree Divers friends have been just lately lucky sufficient to see the very uncommon dragon moray eel at this dive website during a stormy swell when circumstances have been less than splendid. It simply goes to point out that even when circumstances aren’t good, you by no means know what treasures you will see on any dive.

Turtles are definitely on the prime of most divers’ lists when Maui shore diving. Airport Seashore is an enormous dive website and turtle sightings here may be hit or miss. Once we do encounter turtles they’re often quite giant and are either passing by way of the dive website, or stopping for a hearty snack. This website is a congregation website for hawksbill turtles in the course of the summer time and fall months. Hawaii Wildlife Fund conducts analysis and monitoring at this website, and collects underwater photographs of resident hawksbills. Ship your photographs of a hawksbill encounter to the e-mail listed right here and assist contribute to essential analysis and conservation efforts!

Hawaii hosts an unimaginable quantity of endemic species. 25% of the sea life here can’t be discovered anyplace else on the earth. Airport Seashore is a spot the place you possibly can see the Hawaiian damsel fish in abundance and fortunate divers even have the prospect for a Hawaiian monk seal sighting.

Maui Shore Diving - FishMaui Shore Diving - Turtle Airport BeachMaui Shore Diving - Airport Beach Eel

Ideas and Tips:

While Airport Seashore is an effective place for novice divers, you need to nonetheless pay particular consideration to securely enter and exit the water. The rocks begin virtually instantly and it’s a necessity to guard your ft with dive boots. Which means it would be best to have open heel fins for diving. We embrace all the gear you would wish at Banyan Tree Divers. Be cautious of dive operations that don’t provide foot safety and correct diving fins.

Most days are calm however typically Airport Seashore has some pretty heavy shore breaking waves. In the event you plan to dive when shore break is current, then be sure to get buoyant and previous the shore break before putting in your fins. Entry in these circumstances is far simpler than the exit. When exiting the water depart sufficient time to take away your fins before reaching the shore. Heavy surf can ship unaware divers for a journey up the seashore. Not only is the spectacle extremely entertaining for seashore goers at your expense, you danger damaging your dive gear by filling it with sand. Finally we don’t advocate novice divers enter the water underneath these kinds of circumstances. Know your limits!

Maui Shore Diving - Mala Pier

Mala Pier

Mala Pier is likely one of the premier Maui shore diving places. Divers come from everywhere in the island to experience the abundance of sea life that gathers at this sunken pier. Hurricane Iniki decimated the pier back in 1992, giving the construction over 20 years to develop a phenomenal synthetic reef. The concrete shelters function great hiding places for all types of sea life, and provide swim throughs for curious divers. Its shallow most depth of 30ft allows for prolonged backside time. This dive website can also be fantastic for night time diving. Maui shore diving just isn’t complete and not using a visit to this dive website.

What you possibly can anticipate to see:

Where can we start? At Mala Pier, yow will discover virtually any creature that you’d hope to see while shore diving on Maui. Turtle sightings are virtually assured. White tip reef sharks are also generally seen right here. A plethora of macro life may be found together with the nicely camouflaged frogfish, nudibranchs, crabs and scorpion fish. Spotted eagle rays are recognized to go to throughout mating season within the fall, and octopus is understood to slink alongside the developed areas of reef. The vast array of animals all congregating in one place is actually a sight to behold.

Night time dives at Mala Pier function a mind boggling array of nocturnal life together with slipper lobster, crabs, and undulate moray eels. Encounters with the resident white tip reef sharks are also widespread, and they are much extra lively at night time!

Maui Shore Diving - Mala Pier TurtlesMaui Shore Diving - Mala Pier Night DiveMaui Shore Diving - Mala Pier Shark

Ideas and Tips:

The recognition of Mala Pier has led to a rise in guests in recent times. It is of the utmost importance to respect this finite space of reef and shield it for generations to return. It’s an all too widespread theme that well-liked dive and snorkel sites danger turning into “over-loved” by careless divers and snorkelers. Maui shore diving requires additional care. Getting into and exiting from shore can lead to multiple, unnecessary interactions with stay coral. We implore scuba divers to comply with these essential diving practices to ensure not solely private safety, but safety for the reef and its inhabitants. Finally, until you might have in depth dive expertise, it’s best to rent a information (insert shameless self promotion here ????) for this website.

1) Maintain your palms to your self

Many licensed divers have heard the phrase “take only photos and leave only bubbles.” We now have personally witnessed divers choosing up sea life comparable to pencil urchins, sea stars, even an octopus and passing them around for a photo op. We have now additionally seen divers and snorkelers touching turtles at this website which carries a hefty nice in Hawaii. We’ve got even seen individuals harassing the reef sharks resting on the underside with a purpose to get them to swim round for patrons to see. Banyan Tree Divers Scuba is strictly towards touching, teasing or harassing sea life. Touching turtles or even a seemingly inanimate object comparable to sea star or a conch causes it stress, and puts it vulnerable to an infection from micro organism found on human pores and skin.

Any sea turtle harassment or illegal interactions must be reported to Hawaii’s Division of Conservation and Assets Enforcement at (808)-984-8110.

2) Shield the Coral

Mala Pier is a reasonably small dive website and reef progress is restricted to a confined space. Enough buoyancy control is an absolute must. Concentrate on the place you’re kicking. Even barely brushing up towards coral cannot only trigger a nasty reduce but may also kill the coral itself. The silty backside composition signifies that inadequate buoyancy will fire up the sand and never only hurt the visibility, but in addition trigger silt to choose the reef which chokes it. In response to the PADI web site divers have on average 10 interactions with coral on every dive. In the event you think about many divers in one small space continually hitting the reef, it’s straightforward to see how corals get damaged over time. Being aware is all it takes.

3) Enter/Exit Legally and Safely

Mala Pier is situated instantly subsequent to a ship launch. It’s unlawful to enter the water by way of the launch ramp. Boat visitors is widespread and even divers with dive flags might be missed. Talking of dive flags, all the time have a dive flag with you. It’s a $500 wonderful to dive with no flag and they are especially essential in areas with high boat visitors.

It’s essential to enter and exit along the south aspect of the pier. The entry is rocky and very shallow so don’t try without dive boots for foot protection. The world closest to the pier itself is the least rocky and also you gained’t stroll on stay coral. Once it is deep sufficient to float you’ll be able to put on your fins and kick out the remainder of the best way.

This website sits adjacent to burial grounds and an area seashore. Present reverence to the encompassing land and burial grounds by staying out of the grave sites, and respect the local residents. Dive this website with Aloha and it will reward you with an unforgettable expertise!

Maui Shore Diving - Olowalu

Olowalu (Mile Marker 14):

Olowalu’s Mile Marker 14 is a shallow dive that sits proper on the shoreline simply south of Lahaina. The dramatic backdrop of the west Maui mountains makes this area extremely photogenic. Shallow reefs slowly descend to fingered coral formations and sandy valleys. The corals listed here are a number of the oldest in Hawaiian waters. Diving from shore, it is affordable to succeed in a most depth of about 40ft. This specific website has one of the properly developed reef techniques in west Maui. Olowalu was just lately named a “hope spot” by conservation big, Mission Blue. This identify designation not solely brings reef conservation consciousness to Maui’s shores on a wide scale, it is going to hopefully deliver funding to raised understand and shield this delicate sea scape.

What you’ll be able to anticipate to see:

A few of the giant lobe corals at this website are large and putting. Inexperienced turtles relaxation around these giant coral formations and line as much as get cleaned by resident cleaner wrasse and tangs. Manta rays have been recognized to move by means of this website however are becoming increasingly more of a scarce encounter. Typically you’ll find octopus hiding in crevices, altering shade and texture to mirror their environment. You might also spot the occasional white tip reef shark here.

Parrot fish could be seen and heard taking bites out of their coral meals sources. Parrot fish are absolutely intrinsic to the well being of a reef eco-system. Not only do they hold coral freed from algae overgrowth, their excrements provide the very sand we sit on whereas on the seashore! In case you are mesmerized by butterfly fish and yellow tang, then that is your spot.

Maui Shore Diving - Parrot FishMaui Shore Diving - Olowalu TurtleMaui Shore Diving - Olowalu Octopus

Ideas and Tips:

Since Olowalu has such a shallow entry, make the most of particular care when getting into and exiting the water. The tide is usually so low, that exposed coral can simply get divers and snorkelers right into a dangerous state of affairs if pushed by waves on prime of the coral’s razor sharp floor. We typically see ignorant snorkelers standing on prime of the coral, and after a correct cringe, we kindly share with them the risks they pose not only to themselves but to the coral by touching it. There’s a particular sandy channel that’s the solely option to safely enter and exit this dive website. Divers must be snug with navigation expertise to dive this website with no information. Ending up within the incorrect place can lead to a treacherous route again to shore over shallow, sharp coral heads.

This space of Maui with its shut proximity to I’ao valley and its wealthy Hawaiian history make this a very sacred part of the island. Please pay respect not solely to the local waters, but in addition to the lands and other people.

Maui Shore Diving - Black Rock

Black Rock:

Black Rock is west Maui’s one and solely wall dive. Whereas shallow (most 35ft), its unique rock formation options small caverns and great images opportunities at totally different occasions of day. Restricted lodge parking limits entry to this dive website so the walk to shore could be a bit longer. Nevertheless, the abundance of sea life makes the stroll worthwhile.

What you possibly can anticipate to see:

Black Rock often features turtles and large faculties of tang and goat fish. Hawaii’s state fish the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, or Picasso trigger fish, is a standard resident. At occasions, a big monk seal likes to take naps beneath the awning of a small cavern. White tip reef sharks disguise in these caverns through the day with small faculties of squirrel fish resting with them.

Maui Shore Diving - Black Rock FishMaui Shore Diving - Black Rock TurtleMaui Shore Diving - Black Rock School of Fish

Ideas and Tips:

Until you’re staying at the Sheraton, Black Rock is admittedly solely accessible from the north end. Public parking is restricted in this area, requiring a bit of a walk to the seashore. While not probably the most splendid state of affairs with dive gear, it’s still a dive value doing. Currents may be robust and unpredictable at this dive website. Maui shore diving currents can change with the change in tides. It is very important be snug diving in present earlier than trying this dive. Whereas thought-about a novice dive website, proficient swimming capability is important.

South Maui

South Maui shore diving additionally has some location gems value exploring. Whereas Banyan Tree Divers focuses on diving in west Maui, we’ve got great recommendations for Maui shore diving operations in Kihei and Wailea.

Maui Shore Diving - Turtle Town

Makena Landing/5 Graves/Turtle City:

This dive website has many names. It is a widespread dive website for each boat diving operations as well as Maui shore diving. The abundance of turtles that frequent this area lend to the identify Turtle Town. Five Graves refers back to the grave website situated shut by. It doesn’t matter what you call it, this dive has the potential for jam packed fun. The utmost depth is about 40ft and numerous swim throughs permit for exciting exploration. Although it has been deemed Maui’s Turtle City, I feel compelled to say that nearly every dive website on Maui could be referred to as “Turtle Town.” They are in all places!

What you’ll be able to anticipate to see:

Apart from turtles, there are a couple of white tip reef sharks that like to hide within the shallow caves. Eels are a possible sighting, as well as cleaner shrimp and colourful fish. Noticed eagle rays additionally like to go to this space. Fortunate divers can even see manta rays right here.

Maui Shore Diving - Turtle Town TurtlesMaui Shore Diving - Rays Turtle TownMaui Shore Diving - Spotted Eagle Ray

Ideas and Tips:

Whereas Maui shore diving is usually handy, that is one website that requires a moderately long surface swim. The simplest entry is by way of a sandy seashore with a 200 yard swim to the drop point near the caves. There’s additionally a rocky entry nearer to the descent level, but entry and exit are troublesome, and it lacks parking.

Around the level you will see that numerous caves which are undoubtedly value exploring. Because of these overhead environments this website is beneficial for advanced divers snug with buoyancy management.

Maui Shore Diving - Ulua Beach

Mokapu/Ulua Seashore:

This seashore features the preferred scuba refresher and training dive website in South Maui. Parking might be troublesome, however Ulua has good amenities. The straightforward entry and exit, brief floor swim, and variety of sea life make this spot a fantastic introduction to Maui shore diving.

What you’ll be able to anticipate to see:

There is a turtle cleansing station which makes turtle sightings doubtless. Eels and reef fish including set off fish, moorish idols, and butterfly fish are additionally plentiful. An occasional scorpion fish, nudibranch or frog fish can also be a risk.

Maui Shore Diving - Puffer FishMaui Shore Diving - Moorish IdolMaui Shore Diving - Scorpion Fish - Ulua Beach

Ideas and Tips:

As with most dive sites on Maui, it is best to dive in the morning when circumstances are calm and the wind has not picked up. Watch out not to touch or tease the sea life. This can be a in style place to snorkel and dive so frequent interactions with humans aren’t healthy for the animals.

Last Thought

With out query, Maui shore diving is unique and has something engaging for any water enthusiast. Whether or not you wish to interact with sea turtles or find obscure creatures, you don’t need to enterprise far to have some unforgettable scuba diving experiences!

Banyan Tree Divers Scuba caters to a wide variety of diving options. Is it your first time diving? Attempt our Introductory Dive. Are you and your associate or household already certified? Discover out extra about our Licensed Shore Dives. Are you heading to Maui on your honeymoon and on the lookout for a personal experience? Otherwise you simply need to ensure extra one on one consideration out of your instructor? Our Personal Dive for two is the best choice for this.

We offer a variety of PADI Scuba Certifications, including Referral Dives in addition to Scuba Critiques for licensed divers in want a of refresher.

Be happy to contact Banyan Tree Divers Scuba by way of our web site or at [email protected] Keep updated on all of our dive adventures by following us on Instagram, Fb, and Twitter. @banyantreediversscuba

Thanks for studying and pleased diving!



I hope you loved Caitlin’s skilled ideas and superior photographs from her shore dives on Maui. In case you’re planning a trip to Maui, ensure you contact her soon before she fills up! -Sonja

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