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Old Aug 11, 08, 12:09 pm #16

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If you're traveling off-season (e.g. fall or late spring) then I'd choose Molokini as it won't be as crowded. When we went in November '06 it was one of the highlights of our trip. Saw a 6 foot shark, bazillions of fish, eels galore, a barracuda and one guy saw an octopus...

On the other hand, when we went in July of this year, there were triple the amount of people in the water and not nearly as many fish. Saw just as many just off our hotel in Kaanapali.

This year we also took the Trilogy trip to Lanai. It was outstanding but the snorkeling at Manele Bay wasn't the best. Just getting into the water was a chore because you had to time it just right between the crashing waves. (The body surfing, on the other hand, was incredible.)

Of course, there's also the expense. The Lanai trip was more than twice as expensive as the PWF Molokini/Turtle Town. However, the snorkeling time was much longer at Lanai. We only had about 45 minutes at Molokini and 45 minutes off Makena total on the PWF tour.

You might also consider doing a kayak/snorkeling trip. We did one in Apr '04 and really enjoyed it. We were two out of only a dozen kayakers, so it was much less hectic. And since we started so early, we got a lot of private time with the fish and turtles. We left just as one of the big tour boats arrived. Kayaking is a great way to see Maui.
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Old Aug 13, 08, 6:56 pm #17

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We went to Lanai once with Trilogy. The weather was bad and therefore no snorkeling, but the boat ride was fun, food ok, driving tour of the island interesting.

We have been on the zodiac boat Molokini tour several times. In fact, it's our traditional Thanksgiving Day snorkel. Because of the smaller boat and its maneuverability, they can get into spots larger boats can't. Also maintain good communication with other boats to react to something interesting - like the time there was a whale shark off the back of Molokini. Swimming with (and touching) a 50 foot whale shark was amazing!

Only downside to the zodiac boat is no facilities on board, so the restroom at the Kihei boat dock is the last thing we do before boarding and the first thing we do after we get back!
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Old Aug 14, 08, 3:07 am #18

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I've only done Molokini Crater (and loved it ), but I would tell anyone going out there to go in the morning.

The prevailing winds pick up in the afternoon and more often than not I've heard of them scrubbing the Crater run to go someplace you could have driven to.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 2:53 pm #19
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Molokini snorkeling: take the Mākena boat, not Māʻalaea

A few weeks ago, we discovered for the first time a hugely better way to snorkel on Molokini: the Kai Kanani from Mākena: http://kaikanani.com/snorkelmolokini.asp. Take the early departure (6:30 am) and you'll be in the only boat at Molokini (save a few small boats for divers). Calm, early morning waters and hardly anyone there -- can't beat it.

For years we would take one of the boats from Māʻalaea. There isn't really anything wrong with those boats, but leaving from Māʻalaea adds about 45 minutes to your journey, each way. From Mākena, it's only 15 minutes to Molokini. The total time on the Māʻalaea boats is 5 hours, while the "Molokini Express" trip from Mākena is just 2 hrs. 15 min.

Maybe you like the idea of a longer boat ride -- you might see some whales or sea turtles. But I'm pretty bored with the Māʻalaea to Molokini journey, and from now on, it's only going to be the Mākena departure for me.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 3:11 pm #20

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We stay in Ka'anapali so leaving from Makena at 6:30am would be difficult, though I like the idea of being the first and only boat out there.
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Old Apr 13, 10, 3:20 pm #21
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Originally Posted by Recreation View Post
We stay in Ka'anapali so leaving from Makena at 6:30am would be difficult, though I like the idea of being the first and only boat out there.
Yes, I should have mentioned that it adds about 20 minutes to your drive, each way, if you're coming from outside the Kihei/Wailea/Makena area. We stay in Wailea, so we also save on drive time.
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Old Apr 14, 10, 11:57 am #22

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Took the Kai Kanani early morning trip 2 years ago from Makena when staying in Wailea. Great boat and crew. No other boats around at Molokini while moored there, so snorkeling experience was pretty good. Even saw a small white tip reef shark.

BUT, can't whole-heartedly recommend them as I later found out that they've presumably done quite a bit of damage to Maui's reefs and were fined a whopping fine.
http://cdnn.info/news/eco/e081024a.html

Hopefully, they've cleaned up their act as they offer something very advantageous for those staying in South Maui.
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Old Apr 14, 10, 1:03 pm #23
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Since Makena is in the wind shadow of Haleakala, I would imagine the ride would be much more comfortable in calmer seas. When the wind picks up in the afternoon, the run back into Ma`alaea can be wet and bumpy.
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Old Apr 14, 10, 5:06 pm #24
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Originally Posted by FlyinHawaiian View Post
Since Makena is in the wind shadow of Haleakala, I would imagine the ride would be much more comfortable in calmer seas. When the wind picks up in the afternoon, the run back into Ma`alaea can be wet and bumpy.
Quite true, and that's the whole reason we learned about the Makena alternative. The trade winds were unusually strong on March 31st. All Ma`alaea boats (including ours) had to cancel their trips, but I later learned that the Makena operation still went out that day.
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Old Aug 4, 10, 1:48 am #25

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Afternoon Molokini Snorkeling - good or...?

So Molokini seems to be the place to go snorkel. Most of the charters seem to start pretty early in the morning, but some also offer afternoon tours that are shorter and cheaper.

We'd prefer the afternoon tours since a few in our party are more interested in the boat ride and won't really be snorkeling; plus we're not really into the idea of snorkeling for 5 hours like the morning tours normally do.

Question is do these tours really happen or do the trade winds prevent it? Can you see anything during these afternoon dives or does the water become too choppy? If it matters, we're going at the end of August/early September.

Seems like the dive site should be sheltered, but a few sites have mentioned that these afternoon tours often end up at a dive site other than Molokini due to the weather.
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Old Aug 15, 14, 12:31 pm #26

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has anyone done the Pride of Maui snorkeling?

http://prideofmaui.com/destinations/

My wife and I are looking at doing it seems for $172 for both of us we can hit up molokini then turtle town??
or we could do the whale watch/ snorkel for $80 for both of us.

have any of you used this company before?
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Old Aug 16, 14, 9:16 pm #27

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Originally Posted by ac921ol View Post
http://prideofmaui.com/destinations/

My wife and I are looking at doing it seems for $172 for both of us we can hit up molokini then turtle town??
or we could do the whale watch/ snorkel for $80 for both of us.

have any of you used this company before?
We've used them before, great company. Although, if you're not set on going to Molokini only, I say check out Trilogy....by far our favorite thing to do on Maui, and we do it every time.

http://sailtrilogy.com/

If you have any other Maui questions, feel free to PM me...we've been several times, including the last three years in a row (and going back for half a month in December). :-)
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Old Nov 5, 17, 10:14 am #28

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Originally Posted by W2B Globetrotter View Post
Took the Kai Kanani early morning trip 2 years ago from Makena when staying in Wailea. Great boat and crew. No other boats around at Molokini while moored there, so snorkeling experience was pretty good. Even saw a small white tip reef shark.

BUT, can't whole-heartedly recommend them as I later found out that they've presumably done quite a bit of damage to Maui's reefs and were fined a whopping fine.
http://cdnn.info/news/eco/e081024a.html

Hopefully, they've cleaned up their act as they offer something very advantageous for those staying in South Maui.
Is there any other info on this? The only thing I can find is this NYT article and I'm about to take a trip with them!
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Old Nov 6, 17, 11:50 pm #29
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Originally Posted by LiquidHonesty View Post
We've used them before, great company. Although, if you're not set on going to Molokini only, I say check out Trilogy....by far our favorite thing to do on Maui, and we do it every time.

http://sailtrilogy.com/

If you have any other Maui questions, feel free to PM me...we've been several times, including the last three years in a row (and going back for half a month in December). :-)
Trilogy is highly rated but VERY expensive. I like Pacific Whale Foundation: https://pacificwhale.org/ Good value for your bux.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 2:52 pm #30

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Is there any other info on this? The only thing I can find is this NYT article and I'm about to take a trip with them!
The article you quoted is more than 7 years old!

My step-daughter worked for Kai Kanani up until recently when she left Maui, and it sounded like a fine company with good environmental consciousness.
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