Water­world

101 Things to Do (Maui) - - Contents -

23. Gear Up for Un­der­sea Ex­plo­ration 24. Catch a Wave 25. Ex­plore Molokini’s Wa­ters 26. Soar in a Parasail, Roar on a Jet­ski 27. Drift Along the Ocean by Moon­light 28. Sail the Ocean Blue 29. Best of Both (Un­der­sea) Worlds 30. Dis­cover Your Fa­vorite Beach 31. Get High on Kite­board­ing 32. Surf the Wind 33. Dive Maui 34. En­ter the World of Wild Dol­phins 35. Pad­dle a Kayak 36. Try Deep-Sea Fish­ing 37. Ride the Swells in an Ocean Raft 38. Walk on Wa­ter 39. Help Pro­tect Maui’s Mag­nif­i­cent Ma­rine An­i­mals

23. Gear Up for Un­der­sea Ex­plo­ration

Snor­kel­ing is an in­ex­pen­sive pas­time that is eas­ier to learn than surf­ing or scuba div­ing and can be done ei­ther by book­ing a cruise or find­ing a good spot on a beach.

If you go with the pros, like Maui Snorkel Char­ters or South Pa­cific Kayaks and Out­fit­ters, ex­pect gear, lunch and other ameni­ties to be pro­vided. For the more in­de­pen­dent type, snorkel gear can be rented or pur­chased. In ei­ther case, all you’ll need is a mask, a snorkel and fins.

Gear comes in many sizes and shapes, but a good fit is key to mak­ing the un­der­wa­ter ex­pe­ri­ence an en­joy­able one. For help buy­ing or rent­ing gear, try ex­perts like Boss

Frog’s or Snorkel Bob’s. Snorkel Bob’s de­signs and man­u­fac­tures snorkel gear, in­clud­ing a spe­cial kids’ line. Pack­ages are avail­able by the day, the week or for keeps. All pack­ages in­clude mask, fins, Bubba dry snorkel, no-fog goop, fish ID, maps and tips. If you’re trav­el­ing in­ter­is­land, Snorkel Bob’s of­fers 24-hour in­ter­is­land gear re­turn.

Here are some snor­kel­ing tips: 1. Never snorkel alone. Go with a buddy. 2. Never turn your back to the ocean. 3. When­ever pos­si­ble, snorkel in the morn­ing. Af­ter­noon

winds re­duce wa­ter clar­ity. 4. Ma­rine life tends to con­gre­gate around struc­tures, so

stick to reefs. 5. Don’t feed the fish. 6. Even on the cloud­i­est of days, use wa­ter­proof sun­screen. 7. Take a small cooler with bot­tled wa­ter, snacks and food.

Most beaches don’t have con­ces­sion stands. 8. Be re­spect­ful of the ocean. Avoid stand­ing on co­ral, which is the foun­da­tion of Hawai`i’s reef en­vi­ron­ment. All sea crea­tures rely on the reef for homes, pro­tec­tion and food. Bro­ken co­ral takes many years to grow back. Plus, it’s sharp! 9. Don’t com­bine snor­kel­ing with al­co­hol or drugs.

• Maui Snorkel Char­ters (808) 270-8776 • Boss Frog’s (808) 661-3333 ext. 8 or (888) 700-3764 ext. 3 • Snorkel Bob’s (808) 661-4421 La­haina; (808) 874-0011 Wailea; (808) 875-6188 North Ki­hei; (808) 667-9999 Honokowai; (808) 669-9603 Napili; or toll free (800) 262-7725 • South Pa­cific Kayaks and Out­fit­ters (808) 875-4848 or (800) 776-2326

24. Catch a Wave

Leg­ends about surf­ing are found in the ear­li­est sto­ries of an­cient Hawai`i. In about A.D. 400, a form of belly board­ing on small wooden planks was in­tro­duced to the is­lands. Later, Tahi­tian ex­plor­ers brought their tra­di­tion of rid­ing waves with ca­noes. The in­ge­nious Hawai­ians merged the two tech­niques to cre­ate the sport of surf­ing.

To­day, the fas­ci­na­tion with this “sport of kings” is as alive as ever, and Maui, with its ar­ray of beaches, clear wa­ters and year-round surf, at­tracts an end­less stream of surfers.

Ho‘okipa Beach Park (known as a choice wind­surf­ing spot), Pa‘ia Bay and Hamoa Beach in Hana all of­fer world­class surf­ing, while Honolua Bay of­fers spec­ta­tors a spec­tac­u­lar van­tage point of the breaks from the cliff above the wa­ter.

Maui also plays host to Jaws, home to some of the big­gest ride­able waves mother ocean has to of­fer. Lo­cal surfers also call Jaws by the na­tive name of the bay where it is lo­cated—

Pe‘ahi. Big waves at Jaws are hard to pre­dict and should be at­tempted only by world-class surfers. Learn­ing how to surf is a re­ward­ing ad­ven­ture. There are

lessons, camps and clin­ics for those who want to give it a try. Stu­dents gen­er­ally be­gin their train­ing rid­ing soft long boards and are in­tro­duced to the nec­es­sary surf­ing fun­da­men­tals, safety and ocean aware­ness in a land les­son be­fore en­ter­ing the small surf. Lessons are fully su­per­vised, and most schools of­fer be­gin­ner, intermediate and ad­vanced lessons. • Maui Bill’s (808) 205-5763 • Maui Waverid­ers (808) 875-4761 • South Pa­cific Kayaks and Out­fit­ters (808) 875-4848

or (800) 776-2326

25. Ex­plore Molokini’s Wa­ters

Set your gaze to the ocean hori­zon on Maui’s south shore and there, about 3 miles off in the dis­tance, you’ll spot the half­sunken cin­der cone Molokini, a world-class snorkel and dive lo­ca­tion that can be reached only by boat.

Tours de­part daily from La­haina, Ki­hei and Ma`alaea har­bors for the short trip to this re­source-laden won­der­land. Molokini’s cres­cent shape acts as a fortress that pro­vides pro­tec­tion from waves and pow­er­ful cur­rents. And its sta­tus as a ma­rine life and bird con­ser­va­tion district gives shel­ter to 250 species of fish, some of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

Most days the wa­ter is crys­tal clear, with more than 100 feet of vis­i­bil­ity. Ex­pect to see hump­back whales in the win­ter months, as well as green sea tur­tles, monk seals, ea­gle rays, sharks, rain­bow-colored fish and fas­ci­nat­ing lava for­ma­tions any other day of the year.

The is­land it­self is off lim­its to hu­mans, and no fish­ing is al­lowed in the im­me­di­ate area. Guides will in­sist that you do not feed the ma­rine life or ap­proach en­dan­gered sea tur­tles or seals.

HOT TIP: The back­side of the crater, where the crowds tend to thin out and the back wall drops sharply to depths of 300 feet, is a great spot to bond with na­ture. At the cen­ter is a

lush reef with ex­cel­lent view­ing. An­other fa­vorite des­ti­na­tion is Tur­tle Town, which is (you guessed it) home to a large colony of green sea tur­tles.

Most boat com­pa­nies make a party out of a trip to Molokini. They carry snor­kel­ing and div­ing gear, pro­vide in­struc­tion and of­fer break­fast or lunch, and some­times a bar. You can cruise aboard a cata­ma­ran, a pow­ered raft or a sail­boat. • Ali‘i Nui Sail­ing Char­ters (808) 875-0333 or

(800) 542-3483 ext. 1 • Blue Wa­ter Raft­ing (808) 879-7238 • Boss Frog’s (808) 661-3333 ext. 8 or

(888) 700-3764 ext. 3 • Friendly Char­ters (808) 244-1979 or (888) 983-8080 • Maui Ad­ven­ture Cruises (808) 661-5550 • Maui Bill’s (808) 205-5763 • Maui Clas­sic Char­ters (808) 879-8188 • Maui Snorkel Char­ters (808) 270-8776 • Pa­cific Whale Foun­da­tion (808) 856-8375 • Pride Of Maui (808) 242-0955 or (877) 867-7433 • Snorkel Bob’s (808) 661-4421 La­haina; (808) 874-0011 Wailea; (808) 875-6188 North Ki­hei; (808) 667-9999 Honokowai; (808) 669-9603 Napili; or toll free (800) 262-7725 • Tril­ogy Ex­cur­sions (808) 874-5649 or

(888) 225-6284

26. Soar in a Parasail, Roar on a Jet Ski

Whether you’re har­nessed to a parasail high above the ocean or steer­ing a Jet Ski across the wa­ter’s sur­face, you’ll prob­a­bly be wear­ing a grin. These wa­ter sports are

fun for ev­ery­one.

If you’ve never pi­loted a Jet Ski, in­struc­tors will help you get the hang of it. Pro­pelled by a jet of wa­ter, Jet Ski­ing is a fun ac­tiv­ity for the en­tire fam­ily. Pa­cific Jet Sports in La­haina of­fers three types of Jet Ski ve­hi­cles, from one-per­son Su­per Jet 650 to the three-pas­sen­ger Wave Run­ner XL-700. Life vests and in­struc­tion are pro­vided.

For a quick and quiet thrill, try para­sail­ing. Once you’re up there, it’s easy to for­get you’re be­ing towed by a boat and float­ing some­where be­tween 300 and 800 feet above the ocean. High-tech winch boats pro­vide dry take­offs and land­ings. UFO Parasail, lo­cated on Ka`ana­pali Beach in front of Leilani’s Restau­rant at Whalers Vil­lage, uses har­nesses, which are com­fort­able, flex­i­ble and al­low for bet­ter views. The ride is de­signed for just about ev­ery­one, and most oper­a­tors can take two people up at the same time. Note: Jet Ski and parasail op­er­a­tions are closed mid

De­cem­ber through mid-May on Maui for whale sea­son. Both

ocean pas­times re­turn May 16. • Pa­cific Jet Sports (808) 667-2001 • UFO Parasail (800) 359-4836 • Maui Bill’s (808) 205-5763

27. Drift Along the Ocean by Moon­light

You’d be sur­prised by what comes out to play in Maui’s

tide pools when the moon is up. This is the king­dom of Brit­tle stars, urchins, oc­topi, shrimp, snails and ju­ve­nile fish— noc­tur­nal species that have de­vel­oped unique char­ac­ter­is­tics, like stalked eyes for night vi­sion.

A great way to get ac­quainted with these ab­sorb­ing sea critters is to sign up for the Pa­cific Whale Foun­da­tion’s pop­u­lar full-moon tide pool ex­plo­ration pro­gram, rec­om­mended for ex­plor­ers 6 years old and older. Ad­vance reser­va­tions are re­quired.

You don’t need any spe­cial equip­ment to ex­plore a tide pool. Be­cause tide pools serve as nurs­eries for young reef fish, it’s eco­log­i­cally un­wise to col­lect these fish for the fun of it. It’s smart, how­ever, to wear reef shoes or some sort of foot pro­tec­tion, be­cause the ex­posed lava rock is of­ten slip­pery and sharp. Don’t walk in tide pools or touch their in­hab­i­tants, be­cause you may harm or frighten away the crea­tures that live there. A flash­light will come in handy.

• Pa­cific Whale Foun­da­tion (808) 856-8375

28. Sail the Ocean Blue

Maui is one of the world’s pre­mier sail­ing des­ti­na­tions. What­ever your sail­ing pref­er­ence, you’ll find it here. Sin­gle-hull, dou­ble-hulled and tri-hulled yachts and cata­ma­rans of all sizes of­fer great sail­ing ad­ven­tures.

Sail­boats leave daily from Ma‘alaea Har­bor in South Maui, La­haina Har­bor in West Maui and from the beach at Ka‘ana­pali, car­ry­ing any­where from six to 100-plus pas­sen­gers. Al­though winds are usu­ally light in the morn­ing, by mid-af­ter­noon the trades pick up, giv­ing sailors a faster trip back to port. By evening, it’s gen­tle again—calm enough to en­joy cock­tails as you watch the sun­set.

Some sail­boats of­fer snor­kel­ing, as well as food and other re­fresh­ments. If you’re lucky, you might spot a pod of dol­phins,

Hawai­ian monk seals or honu (sea tur­tles) swim­ming by. Whether you skim over the wa­ter at more than 15 knots or take the helm on a ves­sel that com­peted in the 1987 World Cup, sail­ing on Maui is al­ways an ad­ven­ture. • Ali‘i Nui Sail­ing Char­ters (808) 875-0333 or (800) 542-3483 ext. 1 • Amer­ica II (808) 667-2195 • Maui Bill’s (808) 205-5763

29. Best of Both (Un­der­sea) Worlds

Snor­kel­ing is great, you say to yourself as you float lazily in the wa­ter as schools of fish come up to greet you. But what if a per­son could move fur­ther be­low the sur­face to get a bet­ter view? Thank­fully, some­body in­vented snuba div­ing.

Snuba is a shal­low-wa­ter dive sys­tem that bridges the gap be­tween snor­kel­ing and scuba div­ing. It’s not as rig­or­ous and time-con­sum­ing as learn­ing to scuba dive, but is more

ad­ven­tur­ous than snor­kel­ing. Air is sup­plied by a scuba tank that is at­tached to a float on the sur­face of the wa­ter, al­low­ing divers to go at their own pace. Ex­pe­ri­enced divers lead tours, and most people can learn in 90 min­utes.

• Pride of Maui (808) 242-0955 or (877) 867-7433

30. Dis­cover Your Fa­vorite Beach

Maui has a myr­iad of prized beaches. Pick­ing your fa­vorite isn’t just about beauty and util­ity—it’s also about safety. Life­guards pro­tect just nine of Maui’s 81 beaches.

D.T. Flem­ming Beach Park is sit­u­ated on sand dunes at mile marker 31 on High­way 3, east of Ka­palua. The park ac­tu­ally be­gins on the 16th hole of Ka­palua’s golf course.

H.A. Bald­win Park is lo­cated on the Hana High­way be­tween Spreck­elsville and Lower Pa`ia, where body­board­ers and body­surfers are drawn to the con­sis­tent wave ac­tion. Hana Beach Park is a fa­vorite with lo­cal fam­i­lies.

Hanakao‘o Beach Park (or Ca­noe Beach), lo­cated at the south end of Ka`ana­pali Beach, is a launch­ing site for many of the is­land’s outrig­ger ca­noe teams, and swim­mers, snorkel­ers and pic­nick­ers make heavy use of this beach.

Ho‘okipa Beach Park on Hana High­way, 2 miles past Pa`ia, is known as a world-class wind­surf­ing des­ti­na­tion, though its rocky beach and strong ocean cur­rents make it bet­ter for board sail­ing and sun­bathing than swim­ming.

Kama‘ole Beach Parks (I, II, III) in Ki­hei are good for swim­ming, snor­kel­ing, body­board­ing and sun­bathing.

Kanaha Beach Park in Kahu­lui stretches about a mile along the shore­line and pro­vides good swim­ming for chil­dren, wind­surfers, kite­board­ers and outrig­ger pad­dlers.

31. Get High on Kite­board­ing

From the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances of wind­surf­ing, paraglid­ing and wake­board­ing comes a chal­leng­ing wa­ter sport that some people call kite­board­ing and oth­ers call kitesurf­ing. No mat­ter what you call it, this is an ex­treme sport that takes wind, guts, the right equip­ment and a bit of trial and er­ror.

Here’s how it works: The kite­boarder stands on a kite­board, which looks like a small surf­board or wake­board with straps, and is pulled across the wa­ter by a big kite. Sounds easy enough, but it’ll take a lit­tle prac­tice to co­or­di­nate the moves. Kite­board­ing schools on the is­land are happy to pro­vide in­struc­tion.

Long known as a pre­mier site for wind­surf­ing, Maui’s nearly year-round trade winds, warm wa­ters and gor­geous beaches are an equal draw for kitesurfers. Pop­u­lar kitesurf­ing sites in­clude the west end of Kanaha Beach Park, near the Kahu­lui Air­port,

Ki­hei beaches and west side ar­eas above La­haina.

32. Surf the Wind

Wind­surf­ing, the in­ven­tive mar­riage of sail­ing and surf­ing, has found the per­fect hon­ey­moon spot on Maui. With its ideal com­bi­na­tion of strong trade winds and con­sis­tent surf, the is­land is one of the world’s best wind­surf­ing des­ti­na­tions.

While here, you can visit the most-pho­tographed wind­surf­ing site on the planet, Ho‘okipa Beach Park in Pa`ia, where top pros sail al­most ev­ery day. How­ever, Ho`okipa Beach Park’s rip cur­rents, ex­posed reefs and jagged lava rock are not for the novice wind­surfer. In­stead, recre­ational sailors can head to Kanaha Beach

Park be­hind the Kahu­lui Air­port. Here, wind­surfers of all lev­els and ages come to en­joy the sport. Other wind­surf lo­ca­tions in­clude Spreck­elsville,

Kahana, Ki­hei and even the awe­some Jaws wave at Pe‘ahi— but don’t try this one un­less you’re ex­pe­ri­enced. There are sev­eral great wind­surf schools at Kanaha Beach and a bunch of lo­cal wind­surf­ing stores in Kahu­lui that’ll help you gear up for a day on the waves.

33. Dive Maui

At its great­est height, Haleakala tow­ers 30,000 feet from its base on the floor of the Pa­cific to its sum­mit 10,023 feet above sea level. That means about two-thirds of the great

slum­ber­ing vol­cano is sub­merged be­neath the sea, its rich store of se­crets shared only with folks who find ways to travel be­low the ocean’s sur­face. The view from be­low is breath­tak­ing—liv­ing co­ral reefs, sea caves, ex­otic va­ri­eties of friendly (and not-so-friendly)

fish, sea tur­tles and eels. Wa­ter tem­per­a­ture ranges from 72 de­grees Fahren­heit in win­ter to the low 80s in the sum­mer, and on calm days, wa­ter vis­i­bil­ity can ex­ceed 100 feet.

Maui’s vast un­der­world and its teem­ing ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment is a nat­u­ral draw for scuba divers. You can set out on your own or book a trip with one of the is­land’s many scuba div­ing oper­a­tors. Most of­fer small-group tours, and some pro­vide an ar­ray of aux­il­iary ser­vices. The pre­mier dive site on the is­land has to be Molokini

Ma­rine Life Con­ser­va­tion District. This sunken vol­canic cin­der cone 3 miles off the coast of Maui is host to spec­tac­u­lar ma­rine life and co­ral for­ma­tions with high-vis­i­bil­ity un­der­wa­ter views that have been mea­sured at 160 feet. Just as bike rid­ers queue up at dawn to coast down Haleakala, divers and snorkel­ers line up at Ma`alaea and La­haina har­bors each day to make the trip to Molokini.

Other well-known sites in­clude an ar­ti­fi­cial reef off Mokapu Beach in Wailea called St. Anthony; a pre-con­tact

Hawai­ian fish­ing site called the “85-foot pin­na­cle” in the Mak­ena area, south of Wailea; La Perouse Bay; and—when the weather is fa­vor­able—the Kanaio Coast.

You can travel to Molokini, Lana‘i and many other dive sites aboard cus­tom dive boats, ridged-hull in­flat­a­bles or glass­bot­tom boats. Most char­ters in­clude trans­port, gear, equip­ment, in­struc­tion and lunch.

• Maui Bill’s (808) 205-5763

34. En­ter the World of Wild Dol­phins

There’s some­thing spell­bind­ing about squint­ing into a Pa­cific morn­ing sun and spy­ing a pod of wild dol­phins spin­ning out of a sun-pol­ished sea. Seem­ingly care­free, these ma­rine mam­mals can ap­pear out of the blue and put on a show just for you.

Spinner dol­phins, the most fre­quently ob­served species, are gre­gar­i­ous by na­ture. They were named for their habit of leap­ing above the sur­face of the wa­ter and swirling like glis­ten­ing, sil­ver-clad Olympians. Sci­en­tists can’t ex­plain why spin­ners spin. It may be a method of com­mu­ni­ca­tion or a way to get rid of par­a­sites. Or maybe these friendly crea­tures that ap­pear to wear per­pet­ual smiles just like the thrill.

Just off Maui’s south side, along the Kanaio Coast, ad­ven­tur­ers can catch spinner, bot­tlenose and spotted dol­phins in ac­tion. Blue Wa­ter Raft­ing notes that the res­i­dent pod in this area varies be­tween 60 to 100 dol­phins, with some group­ings reach­ing 200.

Spinner dol­phins can be seen al­most daily along the south shore of Lana‘i. They com­monly travel in pods of 50 to 150 in­di­vid­u­als and feed at night, for­ag­ing in deep ocean chan­nels and rest­ing dur­ing the day in shel­tered bays along the coast. Rest­ing pods are of­ten vis­i­ble dur­ing day­light hours and should not be dis­turbed. • Blue Wa­ter Raft­ing (808) 769-6780 • Cap­tain Steve’s Raft­ing (808) 667-5565 • Maui Ad­ven­ture Cruises (808) 661-5550 • Maui Snorkel Char­ters (808) 270-8776 • Pa­cific Whale Foun­da­tion (808) 856-8375 • Red­line Raft­ing Co. (808) 757-9211 • South Pa­cific Kayaks and Out­fit­ters (808) 875-4848

or (800) 776-2326

35. Pad­dle a Kayak

Ocean kayak­ing is a great way to slip away from the crowds and get lost in the rhythm of the pad­dle and the ir­re­sistible tug of na­ture. If you need any more in­cen­tive, here it is—pad­dling is a good work­out.

Open-ocean pad­dling can be a stren­u­ous chal­lenge bet­ter left to the ex­pe­ri­enced, phys­i­cally fit kayaker. But there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for novice pad­dlers to take a trip in Maui’s wa­ters as well. Kayak oper­a­tors con­duct easy to mod­er­ate

tours through some of the is­land’s most invit­ing seascapes in en­vi­ron­ments well known for plen­ti­ful ma­rine life.

Many tours de­part from West Maui beaches and move through ma­rine re­serves in the Ka­palua/Ka`ana­pali area. Lo­cated in South Maui, South Pa­cific Kayaks and

Out­fit­ters pro­vides fully equipped kayak rentals and tours that ex­plore stun­ning coast­lines, col­or­ful co­ral reefs and se­cluded beaches that green sea tur­tles, dol­phins and ma­jes­tic hump­back whales (when in sea­son) all call their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. • Maui Bill’s (808) 205-5763 • South Pa­cific Kayaks and Out­fit­ters (808) 875-4848

or (800) 776-2326

36. Try Deep-Sea Fish­ing

Hawai`i’s cor­ner of the vast Pa­cific Ocean is a hands-down win­ner when it comes to catch­ing tro­phy fish like Pa­cific blue or striped mar­lin. No mat­ter what you snag on a trip out to sea with a char­ter fish­ing com­pany, ex­pect to learn plenty about Hawai­ian-style fish­ing.

Jim Riz­zuto, au­thor of Mod­ern Hawai­ian Game­fish­ing, puts it this way: “The more you know about big-game fish­ing in the rest of the world, the more you will be sur­prised by the meth­ods Hawai`i’s an­glers use to es­tab­lish more bill­fish and tuna records than any other band of fish­er­men in any other ma­rine lo­cale.”

Char­ter fish­ing boats set out from La­haina, Ma`alaea Har­bor and Mala Wharf daily in pur­suit of mahimahi (dol­phin fish), ono (wa­hoo), ‘ahi (yel­lowfin tuna), ulua (jack crevalle),

kawa kawa (bonito) and the sport­fisher’s dream, Pa­cific blue mar­lin. (Many com­pa­nies par­tic­i­pate in tag-and-re­lease

pro­grams for mar­lin.) Many sport­fish­ing boats troll for fish. In other words, they drag a food-chain ar­ray of lures or live bait be­hind the boat. When a fish takes a nib­ble, ev­ery­one springs into ac­tion. The crew gets the an­gler set up, the ex­tra lines are reeled in to get them out of the way, and ev­ery­one waits to see what is at the end.

Some com­pa­nies of­fer shal­low-wa­ter bot­tom fish­ing, which is done by drift­ing in 60- to 180-foot depths with ei­ther spin­ning or small open-face reels. The catch is usu­ally smaller va­ri­eties of reef fish—un­less, of course, you get lucky.

Al­though fish can be caught be­tween the is­lands, many cap­tains pre­fer to work the deep shelves lo­cated be­yond Lana‘i and Kaho‘olawe. If a cap­tain has a char­ter with ex­pe­ri­enced rough-wa­ter boaters, he may elect to fish the wa­ters on the north­ern and east­ern coast of Maui or off Moloka‘i.

Typ­i­cally, boats are char­tered on a pri­vate or share ba­sis. Most com­pa­nies re­quire at least four people to share a trip. Char­ters can be ar­ranged for bot­tom fish­ing and light

line tackle fish­ing. • Maui Bill’s (808) 205-5763 • Start Me Up Sport Fish­ing (808) 667-2774 • Strike Zone (808) 879-4485 • Xian Pri­vate Char­ters (808) 891-2628

37. Ride the Swells in an Ocean Raft

Climb aboard one of Maui’s ocean rafts for a thrilling cruise above the white­wa­ter and a dif­fer­ent take on the ocean-voy­ag­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Raft­ing is an ad­ven­ture at sea, one where you’re sure to get wet dur­ing an adren­a­line-fu­eled jaunt in an

aero­dy­namic craft that the U.S. Coast Guard uses as its res­cue ve­hi­cle of choice.

While out on the open ocean on one of these 30-foot rigid­hulled in­flat­able crafts, climb­ing swells, bounc­ing off crests, windswept, wet and happy, you’re likely to see pods of spinner

dol­phins. Known for their aquatic an­tics, these friendly ma­rine mam­mals are sure to put on a show.

Ocean rafts of­fer a more in­ti­mate tour than larger cata­ma­rans. They’re fast, safe and cause min­i­mal dis­tur­bance. Many com­pa­nies limit their load to no more than 20 pas­sen­gers, and first-time snorkel­ers re­ceive per­sonal at­ten­tion.

Cen­turies ago, fiery erup­tions poured molten lava into the sea, form­ing en­chant­ing arches, grot­tos and sea caves on a coast once home to an­cient Hawai­ian set­tlers. For­ti­fied by the tow­er­ing slopes of Haleakala and in­ac­ces­si­ble by car, the

Kanaio Coast re­mained vir­tu­ally un­known to vis­i­tors for years. Now, this coast­line can be ex­plored with Blue Wa­ter Raft­ing, Maui’s first raft­ing com­pany. Tours take people to view the rugged beauty of this other­wise-hid­den vol­canic shore­line.

Some raft­ing tours in­clude snor­kel­ing op­tions in nearby bays that are havens for a vast va­ri­ety of aquatic crea­tures. Oth­ers of­fer the op­por­tu­nity to snorkel or dive Lana‘i’s reefs and caves, which are teem­ing with trop­i­cal fish, 200-pound green sea tur­tles, whales, manta rays, un­der­wa­ter cav­erns and an­cient Hawai­ian burial caves. Most rafts have sun canopies and easy-ac­cess board­ing lad­ders to make get­ting into and out of the boat easy. • Blue Wa­ter Raft­ing (808) 769-6780 • Cap­tain Steve’s Raft­ing (808) 667-5565 • Maui Ad­ven­ture Cruises (808) 661-5550 • Red­line Raft­ing Co. (808) 757-9211

38. Walk on Wa­ter

You’ve no doubt seen stand-up pad­dle surf­ing, or SUP— it looks like a hy­brid of outrig­ger pad­dling and surf­ing, and ev­ery­body’s do­ing it. Re­quir­ing a light­weight pad­dle, an ex­traw­ide, aero­dy­namic surf­board and just a bit of bal­ance, this sport makes for a good work­out, and plenty of fun.

The con­cept isn’t new— beach boy surf­ing, as it was first known, orig­i­nated in Waikiki about 60 years ago as a way to get around on the oc­ca­sional flat-wa­ter day. To­day, the SUP trend has been re­vived in the is­lands, and some of Hawai`i’s surf­ing greats have latched onto the sport, tak­ing the idea to a new, more-rig­or­ous level world­wide.

Once you get the hang of SUP, re­mem­ber to watch where you’re go­ing. Keep an eye out for sea tur­tles, fish and the oc­ca­sional monk seal. Equip­ment and lessons are avail­able at out­lets through­out Maui.

39. Help Pro­tect Maui’s Mag­nif­i­cent Ma­rine An­i­mals

The gen­tle wa­ters that lap upon Maui’s shores are alive with wildlife. Some of these an­i­mals, like hump­back whales, Hawai­ian monk seals and sea tur­tles, are con­sid­ered en­dan­gered species and are pro­tected by federal laws. Dol­phins and other whales—though not en­dan­gered—also are pro­tected by the Ma­rine Mam­mal Pro­tec­tion Act.

Hawai`i’s ma­rine an­i­mals are fas­ci­nat­ing and eas­ily ob­served crea­tures. Dur­ing the win­ter hump­back sea­son, it’s com­mon to see 40-ton whales with 15-foot pec­toral fins breach­ing off­shore, and res­i­dent spinner dol­phins can be spotted flash­ing through the surf any day. Gi­ant green sea tur­tles make a habit of feed­ing near shore, and oc­ca­sion­ally, an

en­dan­gered Hawai­ian monk seal, some­times with a pup, will lounge on the beach, bask­ing in the sun much like you.

Please ob­serve these rules and guide­lines when view­ing ma­rine wildlife: 1. View from a dis­tance. Con­sider binoc­u­lars. 2. Stay at least 100 yards from hump­back whales, 50 yards

from dol­phins and monk seals. 3. It is le­gal for an an­i­mal to ap­proach you, but it is against the law for you to ap­proach, chase, sur­round, touch or swim with ma­rine mam­mals. 4. Do not ha­rass, hunt, cap­ture or kill any ma­rine mam­mal. 5. Limit ob­ser­va­tion time to 30 min­utes. 6. Feed­ing ma­rine mam­mals is pro­hib­ited un­der federal law. Laws are en­forced, il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties are pros­e­cuted, and fines are ad­min­is­tered.

To re­port sus­pected vi­o­la­tions, call the NOAA En­force­ment Hot­line (800-853-1964). For more in­for­ma­tion, check with the Hawai­ian Is­lands Hump­back Whale Na­tional Ma­rine Sanc­tu­ary in Ki­hei (808-292-2372), the NOAA/Na­tional Ma­rine Fish­eries Ser­vice in Honolulu (808-9442200) or the Depart­ment of Land and Nat­u­ral Re­sources in Honolulu (808-587-0100).

Lo­cal au­thor and pro­pri­etor Robert Wint­ner, also known as Snorkel Bob, has sev­eral books avail­able that dive deeper into the topic of Hawai`i’s pro­tected reefs and the ma­rine an­i­mals that call them home. Ev­ery Fish Tells a Story records the tales of fish and their un­der­wa­ter com­mu­ni­ties through stun­ning pho­tos taken by Snorkel Bob him­self, while the tome Nep­tune Speaks and the novel Flame An­gels both ex­plore the val­ues of wilder­ness and the need to pro­tect our nat­u­ral re­sources.

All books are avail­able at Snorkel Bob out­fit­ters on all is­lands, and 100 per­cent of pro­ceeds from book sales ac­crue to the cam­paign to stop the aquar­ium trade. • Snorkel Bob’s (808) 661-4421 La­haina; (808) 874-0011 Wailea; (808) 875-6188 North Ki­hei; (808) 667-9999 Honokowai; (808) 669-9603 Napili; or toll free (800) 262-7725

PHOTO: HAWAII TOURISM AUTHOR­ITY (HTA) / TOR JOHN­SON

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