Hawaiian islands are famous for the snorkeling and scuba diving along with other water sports. Many beaches and coves in all the islands offer some sort of experience for snorkelers and divers. But snorkeling in the Molokini Crater is surely one of the unique experiences. It is a crater of an extinct volcano right off the shore of the Western flank of Maui, and the majority of the crater is still under water. At visibility around 150 meters, the views of the bottom of the crater and the diverse reef system in it is a treat for snorkelers. Due to the stillness and clarity of the water, it gives ample opportunity for beginners as well to enjoy marine life.
Multiple companies offer snorkel trips from the coast, and it is always better to choose something for early morning to beat the crowd. We chose the Kai Kanani Charters and did the morning express tour that took 2 hours without frills since we have snorkeled before.
We boarded the boat around 7am, and had some light breakfast and beverages. For snorkeling, it had two parts –
- First we were taken to the crater and jumped in straightaway. With the morning sun and low tide, the flora and fauna under the water, the colorful reef system, and schools of vibrant fishes brightened up the mood. Check out some of our GoPro videos and photos in our YouTube channel.
- After about an hour later, we set course up north near the shore to watch some large sea turtles swim. When they came up to the surface, we had a chance to look at them up close. Plus the reef was even more colorful and vibrant around that area.
In about 2 hours or so, we were done enjoying marine life.
- Always carry a towel and a bottle of water. Sunscreen is a MUST, but for snorkeling, please only use water soluble ones lest it impacts delicate marine life.
- Get an action camera (like a GoPro) or a waterproof jacket for your DSLR to capture the amazing marine life. The pictures you take with your iPhone (with waterproof case) or point and shoot cameras do not do justice to the marine life photos just because you’d need higher ISO setting to allow the camera sensor to react to low lights reflected from under the water.