Experience the Island of Maui
After you’ve had the pleasure of visiting the island of Maui you can begin to see why it’s such an amazing place! Our entire family traveled the distance to enjoy the beauty and magical parts of the island. We can’t wait to go back and experience it again! One of our highlights of the trip was experiencing the crew of Sail Maui and exploring the island from the water. Two things made this experience amazing.
First, seeing Maui from the water made me feel like I was looking at the set of Lost. Cheesy I know but so amazing.
Second, sailing on the waters around the island of Maui was surreal. The quiet movement of the catamaran through the water was unbelievable. Sailing is an experience I believe everyone should experience once in their lifetime.
Plus, when you sail you rise and fall with the waves which can make a huge splash on the bow of the boat. Everyone up front gets wet and it can be so refreshing. Unless of course your name is Jodi and your phone gets wet and no longer works. (Side note, Google sent her a new phone even though it was her fault! Way to go Google!)
MOLOKINI CRATER SNORKELING
So all in all, Maui is a difficult place to get to, especially when traveling with twin 18 month old boys. But it is far and away worth it. Here’s an article about one of the sailing tours available at Sail Maui. We hope you enjoy.
Sure, you may have gone snorkeling at a reef, in shallow waters near the shore of a beach, or even in the open sea. But what about a crater?
Yes, it’s possible to snorkel in a crater, and yes, it’s as fantastic as it sounds. And fortunately, this magical place is fairly accessible; Molokini is located about three miles off of the southwestern coast of Maui.
Read on to find out more about why Molokini crater is so great for snorkeling so you can start planning your trip now!
Molokini is a partially-submerged, crescent-shaped volcanic crater located in the Alalakeiki Channel between the islands of Maui and Kaho’olawe. This island is one of only three volcanic calderas in the world, and it’s Hawaii’s only island marine sanctuary.
Scientists estimate that Molokini formed about 150,000 years ago from the eruption of an ancient volcano. Over time, the northern rim of Molokini eroded and the sea flooded the center of the crater, creating a haven for marine life. It is considered one of the best sites for snorkeling and diving in Hawaii.
As Molokini is situated off shore and is only accessible by boat, it offers some of the cleanest and clearest water in Maui. Visbility is usually around 100 feet but it often surpasses 150 feet. The crater’s visibility is also enhanced by the fact that it is rock, meaning no sediment washes down into the water. As a result, sunlight is able to penetrate deep into the water. This sunlight then feeds the algae living in the coral. At the same time, offshore currents wash away the sediment that does get in the water, making for a very healthy coral reef.
Not only is visibility excellent, but Molokini’s volcanic walls protect it from ocean swells, which make it perfect for snorkeling. The same walls—the outer walls—also provide some of the best scuba diving in the world.
Abundant aquatic life
In 1977, Molokini was declared a Marine Life Conservation District, and as such the reef, fish, birds, and all other marine life is protected from fishing, collection, and other destructive human activities.
Snorkelers can see a vast array of marine life in Molokini. In fact, there are over 250 types of marine species in and around the crater including butterflyfish, parrotfish, damselfish, surgeonfish, tang, Moorish idol, wrasse, perch, squirrelfish, snapper, and jacks, just to name a few. You can also see the former Hawaii state fish—and the fish with the coolest name in the world—the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, also called the humuhumu for short. There are also eels, crustaceans, invertebrates, and reef sharks.
While they don’t enter the crater itself, humpback whales frequent the area around Molokini during whale season. There have also been sightings of whale sharks, manta rays, and Hawaiian monk seals.
Molokini is home to an impressive collection of above-ground critters, as well. It’s designated as a Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary and visitors can see seabirds nesting on the steep slopes of the island atoll. The two primary inhabitants are wedge-tailed shearwaters and Bulwer’s petrels. There are over 1000 pairs of seabirds nesting in the cliffs.
With its dazzling array of marine life; excellent visibility; calm waters; healthy, vibrant reef; and proximity to Maui, Molokini is a superb place for
snorkeling. It’s absolutely worth a visit the next time you’re visiting the great island of Maui!