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Finally going to Maui

Discussion in 'Hawai'i' started by bbianchi, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. bbianchi

    bbianchi Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Monterey, CA
    So after years of wanting to go to Maui and not being able to make the surface swim from Monterey I finally am getting to go there.

    I'm looking into dive shops and have a couple emails out but suggestions are always welcome. Looking to dive the Hellfire and the crater. Anything else is gravy, but id like to dive the mantas. That may not be an option depending on what the "boss" approves. I don't know if theres a certain time of year for that dive either.

    We will have a car but there is no Hotel booked yet. Are there any suggestions on where to stay? The wife probably prefers to stay somewhere with activities other than diving as well.
    Peter_C likes this.
  2. DiveMaven

    DiveMaven Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Kihei, Maui & Vancouver, WA
    The problem you're facing is that the crater and Hell Diver are in Maui and the manta dive is on the Big Island. There's a "manta cleaning station" on Maui, but it isn't reliable for mantas like the Big Island and nobody that I'm aware of does a regularly scheduled dive there.

    Recommending where to stay will depend on a few things. How experienced of an ocean boat diver are you? Do you want to shore dive or boat dive, or a combination of the two? Do you mind driving 45 minutes to catch your boat? What does your wife want to do? Does she want to hang by the pool, be on the beach, go shopping...?

    My 2 cents:

    Kaanapali is a fantastic area to stay when you're looking for a beach front resort experience where you don't have to drive everywhere. Can be expensive depending on the time of year, where you stay, etc. You can eat (and drink) and an enormous variety of restaurants, and enjoy an upscale shopping area all within a short walking distance from your resort. You're also a 10 minute drive from Lahaina with all it has to offer. You have a choice of two dive operators, one geared toward the vacation type diver who doesn't do the Hell Diver, but they do dive the Carthaginian on a weekly basis. The other operator mostly goes to Lanai, so no Hell Diver and no Molokini.

    Kihei is more of a spread out, locals type of town and would be considered most affordable The vast majority of condos are across the street from the ocean and there would be a limited amount of restaurants within walking distance so you wind up driving more. However, you have a great choice of excellent dive operators who depart out of the Kihei Boat Ramp or Maalaea Harbor (Ed Robinsons, Mike Severns, Makena Coast Charters, Dive & Sea, B&B, The Maui Diamond, Pro Diver, etc.). Ed Robinsons typically dives the Hell Diver (conditions permitting) on Ed's Wednesday charter. The Maui Diamond schedules the Hell Diver a couple of times a month, but you'd have to check with their website or Maui Dreams to find out the schedule. All of the operators pretty much start their dives at Molokini, with some doing the back wall regularly.

    Wailea/Makena is upscale (translate: expensive) and similar to Kihei as far as driving to eat, etc is concerned. The resorts are beach front with lots of amenities. Parking can be $25/day at your resort if that tells you anything. You can walk between the resorts for meals, and there's a very upscale shopping mall nearby. Once again, you'd catch your boat charter at the Kihei Boat Ramp.

    There's shore diving all up and down the coast, and you can find places with super easy entries. You can find shore dive guides easily like Maui Dreams and Shaka Doug to name two. Regardless you will definitely want a rental car.

    Give us a bit more specific information about what you want and we'll try to help you dial it in a bit more.
  3. Scubanoobi

    Scubanoobi Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa
    I stayed in South Kihei last year and went with B&B scuba, decent price and walking distance to the condo, the deciding factor was that I was back at the dock by 9:30 after a 2-tank dive (which is important when the wife is at the condo with a two year old). I really enjoyed Kihei.
  4. bbianchi

    bbianchi Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Monterey, CA
    I am comfortable on ocean boat dives, and since im really hoping to do the Hellfire and Molokini I don't mind making the drive. I would assume my wife wants to relax by the ocean and probably have some things to look at.

    Diving wise I have no concerns about either of the two sites. I would assume Molokini is somewhat like Little Cayman and as far as the Hellfire I have a wreck cert but it doesn't look like it is that kind of dive anyway.

    I know she's got a bug about Kaanapali, of course I prefer Wailea since its more diving convenient and may make it possible to dive more than one day. Granted like you said who knows what the cost difference is. I didn't know the manta's were on the big island, so thats good to know.
  5. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    I think Kihei is more fun. You have all the restaurants in town to choose from, and there are some lovely beaches (and plenty of beachfront condos, too). There are several very reasonable shore diving sites, the kind of place where you could get up early in the morning and go do an hour's shore dive and be back for breakfast. There are multiple dive charter boats, and they all leave from the Kihei boat ramp, and go out to Molokini for their first dive most of the time. I really like the Mike Severns boat for experienced divers. B&B is excellent for renting tanks and weights, and they run the earliest boat out of Kihei.
  6. Steve Eady

    Steve Eady Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Maui
    I prefere the Lahaina area myself to stay at. But if you wanna have a great shore dive, get ahold of scubahawk27 on these forums about doing a scooter dive. Great fun and Great people.
  7. counterpoint

    counterpoint Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: bay area, California
    I like he royal Lahaina to stay in kaanapali. great location and great people. And Maui dreams is the friendliest dive shop on the island. The best.
  8. simskiscuba

    simskiscuba Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: My Own Private Idaho, very near Princeton, NJ
    What Steve said! When my wife and I were in Maui last summer we stayed at Lahaina Shores Resort which was on the beach, a reasonably priced condo and walking distance from downtown Lahaina.
    It included free parking for our rental car which got us around the island for shore diving and was walking distance from the marina that Lahaina Divers went out from.
    Highlight of the week was scooterdiving with Scubahawk and his lovely wife.
    Have Fun!
  9. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    We rented a house right across the street from the ocean in Lahaina, and we had a great time. The house was actually really cheap to rent, but we got a Kamaʻaina discount. Of course we had a boat on a mooring to use, kayaks, pickup truck, fresh mango's falling out of the trees for making drinks, free tank fills...if only it would have lasted longer. We did a few really fun shore dives, including right in front of the house.

    Have a great trip and I am looking forward to seeing your posts about it in one place or another :)
  10. DivemasterDennis

    DivemasterDennis DivemasterDennis ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, Colorado
    Plus one for the West Side, but the Island is not so big that you can't drive about anywhere to dive (except Hana).
    You will have no problem with any dive boat destinations, and boats depart from Lahaina to Molikini as do boats from Kihei and Maalea Harbor. If your partner likes snorkeling, the West end is better than the South for snorkeling from shore, but bothhaver good spots. Maui is very use friendly for divers, day before reservation with any boat usually are plenty early, and even same day works most oft he time. Have a great trip.

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