Snorkeling in Maui

Hanakao’o Beach-Jan 21, 2018

Hanakao’o Beach-Jan 21
I have never been snorkeling in an ocean or a lake but it has always been a dream of mine. When I was a child my grandmother had a above-ground swimming pool and books about Jacques Cousteau. I would study the photos and then in the pool, I would pretend I was deep in the ocean, scuba diving with great white sharks and seeing coral reefs. Truthfully the most I had done in the ocean was to put my feet in the water in California.
When we decided to go to Maui, I immediately researched snorkeling/diving places near our resort and to my surprise some were very close. I even bought a GoPro Hero5 session to film my underwater adventures.
We landed in Maui on a Saturday evening and on Sunday morning I rented a mask, snorkel, and fins from the outdoor activities desk and went straight to the ocean. I was both excited and nervous. Excited to finally enjoy the dream of swimming in the ocean and seeing life underwater and nervous because of the possibility of sharks.  Swimming in the ocean and seeing a shark is number two on my bucket list, right under going into outer space.
Rash guard shirt on, Hanakao’o Beach was my entrance into this exciting underwater world, with mask and snorkel ready and fins in hand I entered the ocean with my GoPro recording.
Reality set in.
The ocean moves, waves make putting on fins difficult, rocks, waves trying to push you into rocks, and the first few yards of swimming underwater is just swimming through sand-filled water. But I was snorkeling, then the water got deeper and I could start to see the underwater world. I saw fish, not big fish, just many small ones. I saw Convict Tang, Black Durgon Triggerfish, lots of Yellowstripe Goatfish. I saw rocks, some Cauliflower Coral, Slate Pencil Urchin, Long-Spined Urchin and no sharks. I snorkeled for about 5 minutes. This would be the first of five snorkeling adventures in Maui. Watch the Hanakao’o video below.Hanakao’o Beach-Jan 21

Black Rock-Jan 21, 2018

I had read that Black Rock Beach was one of the top spots to snorkel in Maui. So I snorkeled for the first time at Hanakao’o Beach in the morning and in the afternoon we went to Black Rock. In the afternoon the ocean waves were more intense but I saw other people snorkeling so I decided to try as well. The sand-filled water seemed to go on forever and it was very murky. Eventually the water became a little more clearer and I was able to see Convict Tang and a Yellow Coronetfish. Seeing the Coronetfish was really exciting because they are strange looking fish.
And reality set in again. I noticed I was moving back and forth with the ocean and so were the fish. So I decided to call it a day and swim back to shore. I was out for almost 6 minutes this time and I was really enjoying it. Watch the video below.

Hanakao’o Beach-Jan 23, 2018

My third time snorkeling and sadly the day my GoPro died. However it was able to capture this video below, also in the video is my partner Anna. And another beautiful day snorkeling. GoPro customer service was very helpful and are sending me a replacement camera. Which I will use on future adventures.

Mala Pier-Jan 25, 2018

The top of my bucket list is like this:
1. Go into outer space
2. See a shark underwater in the ocean
On Jan 25, 2018 I checked number off and completed a dream I have had for a long time. I contacted Weston Evans with Shoreline Snorkel in Maui for a tour about seeing White Tip Reef sharks by Mala Pier. He said they are usually there and he would give me a tour. We first tried on Monday the 22nd but the visibility was too poor and so we rescheduled for Thursday the 25th. Because of my GoPro malfunction I bought a disposable waterproof film camera, and I don’t have good camera karma. It didn’t work at all and actually broke while I was swimming.
We entered from Baby Beach and swam out, a long way out, roughly 1100 feet. The first marine life we saw were giant turtles, they were beautiful, graceful, and amazing. Then, as we got away from the shore we saw more and more fish including the Humuhumu-Nukunuku-Apuaa (Hawaii’s state fish). Mala Pier was once a functioning wharf but it was destroyed in the 1990’s by Hurricane Iniki . And the White Tip Reef sharks were there. They say they are fairly harmless, unless you are fishing by them, but as Weston pointed out, they still have teeth. At first, about 35 feet down and maybe 5-6 feet long, they were resting on the ocean floor beneath a large concrete slab but eventually they started swimming around. And as they swam around it occurred to me that only water separated me from them. Seeing them move together in a fluid motion between the different concrete slabs was mesmerizing. Again because I am new to snorkeling and swimming in the ocean I was questioning my decision to see sharks in the wild, however I always felt safe. This day was a wonderful adventure. Watch the video below.


Hanakao’o Beach-Jan 26, 2018

My final snorkel day and the second day I really wish I had a camera. I saw lots of fish including a big Unicornfish, Butterflyfish, and two giant sea turtles. I spent about 30 minutes in the water and really enjoyed my snorkeling time in Hawaii. Also I want to get my scuba diving certification and I hope to see more marine life.