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 underwater world 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. Some suggestions include LAHAINA DIVERS (lahainadivers.com), MAUI DIVE SHOP (mauidiveshop.com), MAUI DREAMS DIVE CO. (mauidreamsdiveco.com) and ED ROBINSON DIVING ADVENTURES (mauiscuba.com).
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 area, south of Wailea; LA PEROUSE BAY; and— when the weather is favorable— KANAIO COAST.
You can travel to Molokini, Lana‘i and many other dive sites aboard custom dive boats, ridged-hull inflatables or glass-bottom boats. Most charters include transport, gear, equipment, instruction and lunch. Or if you want to watch a dive show (without getting wet), ride aboard REEF DANCER in Lahaina Harbor for an underwater viewing adventure and dive show.
REEF DANCER (808) 667-2133
MAUI DIVE SHOP OUTLET STORE (808) 879-1775 EXT. 3 OR (800) 542-3483