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I will be in Maui for two weeks from November 8th to the 21st, and I wanted to go diving on the weekend. So I am looking for suggestions on the best locations, dive boats, or shops to setup a couple of dives on Saturday and Sunday (14th and 15th).
You might want to check the Ohana section of ScubaBoard for more information. Just to get you started though...
If you're only going to dive 2 days and have never been to Maui before, I'd strongly suggest you do a charter to Lanai to dive the Cathedrals for one of them. Molokini crater would be the second charter most would suggest.
To Lanai the most common recommended ops are: Lahaina Divers and Extended Horizons, both departing out of Lahaina. Believe me, you want to go to Lanai from Lahaina, not Maalea as the crossing can be rough at times. Difference between them: Lahaina Divers takes up to 24 divers on big 46' Newton dive boats, very roomy. They use AL72 tanks. Geared more toward the vacation type diver, but give latitude to those with more experience. Extended Horizons puts 13 divers on a 32' aluminum boat. They use AL80 tanks. Usually the preferred choice of more experienced divers.
I'm an experienced diver but I prefer the big 46' Newton boats for a more comfortable crossing and have never had less than a 50 minute dive on Lanai with Lahaina Divers yet.
For Molokini, most will recommend you catch a boat at the Kihei boat ramp. Most recommended ops are: Mike Severns, B&B, and Ed Robinson's. All use comparable boats and run comparable operations, with small differences between them. For instance, Mike Severns will give you a "marine biology lesson" during their dive briefings. B&B takes quite a few students on their boats and does a great job with beginners. Ed Robinson's is geared toward the more independent and experienced diver.
For shore diving (which is a good option), you'll definitely want to check with Shaka Doug. He gets the nod here more than anyone, though Maui Dreams and Pacific Dive also get good reviews.
A few things to know. 1) Maui charters depart EARLY since the trades pick up around noon. 2) Dives are DM led. 3) There aren't really any "bad" operators on Maui. 4) October is a pretty "dead" time, so you're likely to not see any crowds on any boats. 5) Be prepared for a totally different topography than just about anywhere else
Lahaina Divers just spent a couple days diving with them and they are a great operation. Nice boats, quality rental gear if you need it, very professional and very safe. The Lanai trip is great and shouldn't be missed. Molokini is ok. There are a couple places that the beach diving is as good as the boat dives, something about 80 plus degree water and no wet suit is the bomb !
I was in Maui last November, and had a great time with Hawaiian Rafting Adventures, out of Lahaina. Experienced, smaller operation, smaller groups, all about the diving. Agree about a trip to Cathedrals! We also got in some awesome snorkeling by ourselves off the beaches and bays.