Snorkeling in Maui

by beccatran / May 30, 2013 / 0 comments

I had vowed to myself after previous bad boating experiences that I would never go on a small boat again, yet one morning in Maui, I found myself boarding a small snorkeling charter. The boat would take us out two and a half miles to a crescent-shaped island called Molokini where we would be able to explore the ocean life. I have to admit that I have always dreamed about snorkeling in Hawaii, so there was no way that I was going to skip this. I’m glad that I didn’t, because it was probably one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.


The charter was very clean, the boat crew was very friendly, and to top it all off, breakfast and lunch buffets were included, as well as all the snorkeling equipment we would need. It didn’t take long to get to Molokini, since it was only about two miles away from Maui. Molokini is a volcanic crater that is partially submerged in the water. People aren’t actually allowed to touch the island, because it is federally owned and is also the state seabird sanctuary. Molokini is a really popular tourist attraction where people can go snorkeling and scuba diving.


The water at Molokini was the most beautiful turquoise color. The water was really cold! When I went under the water, I was surrounded by hundreds of different types of fish. Most of them were black; I later found out they are called black triggerfish. There were heaps of beautiful, colorful fish. There was almost every color of fish one could imagine. Not only were there lots of fish, but there were also awesome corals, and even some octopi.


Fish, Molokini Crater, Maui

Photo courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons:


Our next stop took us is near the shore of Wailea. People on the beach could easily come out and snorkel at this spot. The boat crew told us that many beach scenes were filmed in Wailea for movies. It had warmed up quite a bit, so I took off my wetsuit and jumped off the side of the boat with a few other people. I felt like I had just jumped into the movie Finding Nemo. The water was clear and refreshing, and there were lots of tiny colorful fish and massive coral reefs. Then, all of a sudden I was face to face with the most gigantic sea turtle I had ever seen in my life. It made my jaw drop. It was about the size of a dinner table. I wasn’t even sure if it was a turtle at first; I thought it was a giant rock. I stared into the turtle’s eyes. The sea turtle looked so calm and relaxed as it swam around me. I couldn’t help but pet its shell, which felt so smooth. Swimming with the sea turtles in the ocean is so cool and one of the most amazing experiences ever.


Sea turtle, Wailea

Photo courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons:


As we were leaving Wailea to head back to our dock, our boat captain started slowing down the boat, and made an announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you would look to the right side of our boat, you will notice that there is a baby whale! Isn’t this your lucky day! We weren’t even supposed to see whales today. The whale watching group is going to be so jealous.” Immediately lots of people ran to the right side of the boat to go check out the whale. I had a pretty good view from my seat - I could see the baby whale and the mother whale not too far from the boat. I have been whale watching before, but it was nothing compared to this. The baby whale was swimming right beside the boat, spewing water out of its blowhole. It was so cool! We continued making our way to land. The waves were huge! They were completely soaking everyone on the boat, but I didn’t even care. Today had been amazing.


I’m so glad that I went on the snorkeling excursion that day. I finally got to snorkel in Hawaii (something I have wanted to do since I was little), swim with a giant sea turtle, and watch a mother and baby whale. If you’re ever in Maui, I suggest you go snorkeling in Molokini. It will be an experience that you will never forget.





Becca Tran is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program