Frequently Asked Questions - What if it Rains?!?
We frequently receive questions about snorkeling in Maui from visitors to our site. We always respond to emails, but thought our Maui Snorkel Blog is the perfect venue for questions. So if you have any questions about snorkeling or Maui, be sure to check our new "Frequently Asked Questions" category and you may just find an answer. This week's topic - "Oh-no! There's RAIN in the Forecast!"
Q: Looks like clouds and rain in the forecast for our trip next week, we're bummed, can we still snorkel?
A: Rain or clouds in the weather forecast for Maui is not unusual—kind of explains the rainbow on Hawaii license plates! But rest assured, having rain or clouds in Maui's forecast is a lot different than a similar prediction for the mainland. Rain showers and clouds are common in Maui, but in most areas they're usually short-lived. A bit of rain isn't likely to interrupt your snorkeling plans. In fact it's universally accepted that if you want to get away from the rain, hop in your car, drive ten minutes, and you'll be back in sunshine! That said, if you want to reduce your chances for rain, consider staying in South Maui or Lahaina in West Maui as both areas tend to see less rain than other parts of the island.
On the other hand, if a major downpour hits while you're visiting Maui, we recommend changing your snorkel plans for a few days. Heavy rains cause run-off to flow into near-shore waters creating murky conditions that can last a few days until the water clears. Picture the water that runs down your driveway after washing a month's worth of dirt and dust off your car—the same thing happens on an island. We'll never forget being out in the water when a huge downpour hit. Conditions were crystal clear when we started, but after ten minutes of pelting rain (as seen to the right) we were suddenly enveloped in a wave of brown water. The clarity went from "clear sea to murky tea" in seconds. Since snorkeling is all about enjoying the underwater sights, it's best to make other plans after a major rainstorm to give conditions time to clear. That shouldn't be too difficult in a place like Maui! But if you're still determined to snorkel no matter what the conditions, as locals will tell you: "Snorkeling in murky water is just a bad idea!" Cue the theme to Jaws...
If snorkeling conditions aren't optimal, check our Exploring Maui posts for adventures to pass the time while you're waiting for conditions to clear. Or if the surf's up and snorkeling's out, it's a great time to see some amazing surfers at these top surf spots in Maui.
For more snorkeling tips and cool things to do in Maui, check back often and pick up a copy of Mask Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling. More questions? Contact us here or through Social Media—you can find Maui's Best Snorkeling on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+. We'd appreciate your support and love hearing from our fellow snorkeling fans!
Snorkeling Maui's South Shore in the Summer
We frequently receive snorkeling questions from visitors to our website and are always happy to respond. With summer in full swing, a recent query about snorkeling conditions this time of year offered an excellent opportunity for a new blog post...
Q: How are the snorkeling conditions in South Maui during August? Is snorkeling typically not as good during this time of year? We stayed on the North Shore of Kaua'i last October and the rough surf made swimming and snorkeling almost impossible, I'm trying to avoid a repeat!
A: It's true the seasons in Maui can affect ocean conditions. In the summer, Maui sees most of its swells coming out of the south and southwest from winter storms in the southern hemisphere. This means beaches facing south/southwest can experience stronger wave action which can kick up sand and create less than ideal conditions for snorkeling—think cloudy water. But here's the deal, it doesn't happen all the time. Swells are periodic—they come and they go. . . a swell may hit for a few days, then waters calm back down. Or a swell can be so minor to begin with, it doesn't create enough wave action to impact visibility.
Another factor with south and southwestern swells are Maui's nearby islands. Moloka'i, Lana'i, and Kaho'olawe all help to block these swells or redirect them to certain areas of the island. Some say it's these outer islands that actually make specific areas of Maui's coastline better surf spots than others.
Keep in mind that wherever you plan to snorkel, conditions are always best in the morning. On Maui the winds start blowing by midday. This can create some serious waves which churn things up and limit visibility. The exception is Honolua Bay in West Maui, it can be good almost anytime of day.
We've spent plenty of time snorkeling South Maui during summer months. We wouldn't scratch any area off your list until you check the conditions on that particular day. In fact, we think South Maui offers so many great snorkeling spots, even if you're staying on Maui's west side, it's worth the drive. Head down, look things over, and if it's too rough to snorkel, make a trip out to La Pérouse Bay and enjoy the beautiful beaches and scenery along the way. If the surf's up, both La Pérouse and Ahihi Bay are also great spots for taking pictures and watching some amazing surfers catch the waves.
If you have snorkeling questions, be sure to send us an email from our contact page, we love hearing from fellow snorkeling fans! For more information on the best snorkeling spots in Maui and where to snorkel once you get there, pick up a copy of Mask, Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling. Happy Snorkeling!
When to Visit Maui? – We Vote Spring!
We're often asked when is the best time to visit Maui? Honestly, anytime is great, but if we were pinned-down on the question, we might just have to say mid-April to early June. It's a beautiful time to visit Maui, especially if you enjoy getting out and exploring.
As photographers, spring is definitely one of our favorite times of year. The weather is more cooperative for taking pictures with pleasant temperatures and lighter tradewinds, making it easier to capture pictures of palms or other foliage without fighting the wind. Best of all, the scenery is at its greenest. With the lengthening days of spring and the end of winter rains, the island's vegetation springs to life. If you have an eye for photography, you'll definitely appreciate the lush greenery of this time of year over the heat-withered fronds of late summer! Heading to Hana, you'll find waterfalls flowing higher, and Up Country's roads ablaze in the purple blossoms of Maui's magnificent jacaranda trees.
Late spring is also a quieter time on the island, making it easier on your pocketbook. Once spring break is over and before summer vacation gets rolling, Maui experiences a lull in visitors. Getting around is less hectic, popular spots aren't as busy, and you'll find better rates on accommodations and other services. Favorite beaches are also less crowded—a plus for both snorkeling and having a bit more space on the sand to yourself.
So if you're headed to Maui this spring, it's the perfect time of year for taking some great scenic shots—and to snorkel of course! :) For more information about exploring Maui and finding great snorkeling spots, be sure to pick up a copy of Mask Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling. You can also contact us here or through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus, we'd love to hear from you!
Maui's Best Snorkeling in West and South Maui
If you visit our Look Inside page and scan the Table of Contents, you may wonder why the locations recommended in our book are all in West and South Maui. There’s a reason. We visited Maui for many years before moving there and after countless hours exploring, it’s where we consistently found the best snorkeling. That’s not to say there aren’t other great spots. Hana, Ke‘anae, and the far northern points of West Maui offer some enticing areas, but the challenges presented by isolation and unpredictable conditions keep them from being ranked as “Best,” particularly with limited vacation time. Too many of our Hana snorkel excursions were derailed by rough seas. Sure, the beautiful views and banana bread can take the bite out of three hours of endless corners, but if your main goal is snorkeling, stick to the west and south sides of the island—they're by far your best bet for consistently good snorkeling. No disrespect to Hana, we love it! But inevitably we tend to enjoy our time visiting Hana without fins.
For a guide to all the best snorkel spots on Maui, including candid advice, snorkel routes, and detailed maps of Maui's best beaches, pick up a copy of Mask, Fins, & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling. If you're already on the island, you can find it at one of Maui Dive Shop's 7 locations or The Makena Mercantile, just inside The Makena Beach & Golf Resort.
Where Can I Find your Snorkel Guide on Maui?
Spring break is right around the corner and if you're lucky, you're planning a trip to Maui! We frequently hear from people who can't order our snorkeling guidebook in time for their trip and wonder if they can find it on the island. Fortunately the answer is yes! Our snorkel book can be found at Maui Dive Shop locations across the island (in Kahana, Lahaina, Ma'alaea Harbor, Wailea, and two locations in Kihei). If you're staying in the Wailea/Makena area you'll also find our Maui snorkel guide inside the gift shop at the Makena Beach & Golf Resort.
Enjoying Maui's underwater world and its amazing sea creatures is a fantastic way to spend time in Maui, and after you've tried it, we hope you'll be hooked! With detailed descriptions of the best snorkeling spots in Maui, our guidebook should get you off to a great start! As a self-described "snorkeling fanatic," Rich wrote the guide with the idea of offering something for snorkelers of all levels. He offers snorkeling basics and tips specific to Maui for beginners, as well as "Marathon Adventures" for advanced snorkelers. Along with colorful maps and beautiful pictures on every page, you'll find underwater photography tips, advice for snorkeling with kids, and kayak-snorkel excursions for both West and South Maui. We hope you'll find our snorkel guidebook indispensable to discovering Maui's best beaches and snorkeling spots.
So if you're planning a trip to Maui, pick up your copy of "Mask Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling"—it's sure to inspire your sense of snorkeling adventure! You can find it on the island or order it here and enjoy a great read on your flight to Maui. We're sure it'll have you planning your adventures and excited to snorkel before your plane lands in Kahului! Happy Snorkeling!
Include "Maui's Best Snorkeling" in your carry-on!
We’ll admit it, we're snorkel fanatics! We love cruising the reef and have spent countless hours exploring Maui’s waters... We’ve hit the sites listed in free visitor magazines, and checked out places suggested in travel guidebooks. We’ve ventured into areas mentioned on websites, and explored spots that just looked intriguing from shore. We’ve covered much of Maui’s coastline and had a fantastic time learning which spots are good—and which ones are great!
Our goal is to share what we've found and help others discover the beauty and amazing sea life found just below the water's surface. We're confident our guidebook will help you create memorable snorkeling adventures and make the most of your time in Maui.
Here's a sample of what others have to say:
"This Book is Great"
This book is great. It gives precise locations for the beaches, parking, and amenities for the best snorkeling places in Maui. It describes the correct entry points for the reefs in Maui as well what type of flora and fauna one is going to encounter at a particular beach. One can clearly see the author is an experienced snorkeler. In addition to descriptions for each place, the author also presents snorkeling tips, ocean hazards, and conservation. I used this book to plan my snorkeling for a 5 day trip to Maui and do not regret it. Next time I go to Maui, this book will be in my luggage again. –Amazon Review
"Great Book that Stays on Target"
...This book really gives you what you want—detailed descriptions of the snorkeling at various locations. It has maps, it has driving directions, it has parking information. But what I really love is the detailed descriptions of the snorkeling... where to go within the bay... what to look for... what you'll see... and those beautiful, beautiful pictures! I even learned that the weird bat-fish I saw in Kapalua Bay is actually an Oriental Flying Gurnard!
"Thank you again for your awesome book"
I loved the pictures, and the instructions on where to find the best snorkeling were excellent. We also liked your idea of a "marathon adventure" and made up one of our own based on your suggestions (ironic as we were on Maui to run the marathon)! –Email
So if you're headed to Maui, be sure to include "Mask Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling" in your carry-on. You'll be planning your adventures and ready to snorkel before your plane lands in Maui! Aloha and Happy Snorkeling!
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