March 10th, 2012, 09:54 PM
My non-diving wife and I will be returning to Maui in mid May. It has been thirty years since we were there last and I wasn't certified so diving wouldn't have been on my radar.
Other than knowing that we intend to go to Maui and will stay just for one week, we are completely lost as to what town to stay in. My wife is happy sitting around the pool or ocean and reading while I do a couple of boat dives so the choice of town is going to be based on a reasonable abundance of good boat dives that are serviced by a good dive op. I have been spoiled in the Caribbean and Cozumel with small capacity dive ops so I would shy away from cattle boats if possible. I would expect to be diving five days. So my questions:
Best area (town) located to the best diving.
Recommended hotels/condos...not a big deal as I can search but if you know of ones that are good...then thanks.
Dive spots not to miss.
Recommended non-cattle boat dive ops that permit diving to your computer/air.
Any advice would be appreciated.
March 10th, 2012, 10:33 PM
It sounds like Wailea or Kihei would be good options for you and your wife. Wailea is more expensive/upscale and has more resorts/hotels directly on the beach, Kihei is more condos across the street or a block off the beach.
As far as dive ops, our perferred charter operator is Ed Robinson's Diving Adventures. We're advanced divers and really enjoy being able to book charters specifically geared toward the advanced diver (Adventure and 3-tank charters). Ed has 2 boats with 10-12 divers per boat, groups of 5-6 divers per dive master, and divide the groups based on experience as much as humanly possible on their regular 2-tank charters.
Other recommended Kihei charter operators are: Mike Severns, Makena Coast Charters, and B&B, and you wouldn't go wrong with any of them.
For shore diving in the Kihei/Wailea area: Shaka Doug (always is high recommended), and Maui Dreams.
As far as dive sites, I always hesitate to recommend anything since most operators typically pick sites based on the conditions and desires of their divers that day. A few of my favorites though are: The cleaning station at Molokini, Reef's End at Molokini, Red Hill, and 85. However, Landing Craft and Tank, Wailea Point, the Hell Diver, The Apartments, Shark Condos at Molokini, and the Backwall at Molokini have all been excellent dives for me as well.
Whomever you choose to dive with, ask if they give discounts for booking multiple days. I know Ed Robinson's gives you 10% for 3 days and 15% off for 5 or more days, and I'd imagine others may be similar.
IMO the most important thing if you're not familiar with Hawaii diving is to have an excellent dive guide. Hawaii creatures can be hard to find and there are so many people that make the mistake of not hiring a good guide and leave saying that diving Hawaii is "boring," "everything is dead," "there's nothing to see," etc., etc. Make no mistake that Hawaii is NOTHING like the Caribbean or S. Pacific....you won't find the soft corals, sea fans, huge sponges, etc. What you'll see is hard lava rock, hard corals, and small flat sponges. You will definitely want to have a good flashlight with you to enjoy the amazing bright red sponge (that looks brown at depth), and help you find the tiny creatures hiding in the reef.
Check VRBO.com for condos. May is low season and a great time to get good deals.
March 10th, 2012, 10:37 PM
I'd recommend you stay in Kihei or Wailea and try both some shore diving and boat diving. PM me if you need some specifics. I am a good source of local knowledge. I have a friend that deals in short term rentals in the area too. She's really on her game so maybe could help you out depending on what you're looking for.
May is a beautiful time of year to visit!! You're gonna really like it!
March 10th, 2012, 10:45 PM
I will be there May 8th to 15th as well. Staying in Kihei. I was there in Feb and dove with Shaka Doug and B&B. Both are excellent. Doug only does shore dives but is very knowledgeable and a very fun chap. He always finds lots of stuff to show you.
March 10th, 2012, 11:32 PM
I did 12 dives in five days last October on Maui. We did trips with Extended Horizons in Lahaina, Mike Severns out of the Kihei boat ramp, and Shaka Doug in South Maui. We stayed at the Outrigger in Lahaina. The drive down to Kihei was getting a bit tiresome some mornings (45 min or so). I'd dive with any of the three ops again without question. If I were mostly diving out of Kihei and South Maui, I'd definitely look to stay down in that area.