In September, we made a return trip to Maui. We dove off Lanai for three days with Capt. Steve Juarez at Dive Maui Hawaiian Rafting Adventures. This is our second trip with Steve, and we continued to have a great time – the boat and crew were fantastic. When you’re on a boat for >30′ you can’t discount a stable and fast boat, and their custom dive boat was much appreciated.
Hawaii isn’t lush with tropical fish, but Lanai offers very interesting topography.
Steve finds octopus on many of the dives.
For my tropical trips, I’ve been using the UTD Z Sidemount system. With the QC6 quickdisconnect, it’s easy to get in and out of the water. In the water, sidemount really shines.
Maui holds a special place in our heart as it was the place of our first scuba “a-ha” moment. Five years ago, as we drifted weightlessly around the back wall of Molokini, both Elissa and I knew that scuba diving was for us.
As a shake down dive, we chose Ulua Beach on the recommendations of some friends. We started a little later in the morning, and plenty of divers were already in the water – clearly a popular dive spot. At the reef, we saw a jack and spotted eel chase each other though cracks, rocks, and coral. We also spied our first Hawaiian turtle as he sped northbound across the reef.
For our trips to Molokini, we dove with B&B Scuba. After a discussion of our dive experience and watching us on our first dive, we were given the leeway to dive on our own given time and gas parameters. For example, maximum 60 minutes and back at the boat with 500psi.
Both Elissa and I appreciate any dive operator that allows us to plan our own dive, but at the same time we also enjoy following the local dive masters (they have a better eye for local fish and critters). As the result, B&B’s flexibility towards us was perfect. They even allowed us to splash first, as they helped other divers get ready.
We’ve dove with many dive ops and a few in Maui, and we definitely liked B&B’s laid back and family run feel.
Our first dive was the backwall of Molokini. We made a special request when booking our trip, and fortunately, B&B and the weather were able to comply.
The second dive with B&B Scuba was to St. Anthony’s Wreck. Sunk in 60′, the small wreck is surrounded by a tire reefs. As opposed to other attempts around the world, Maui’s appears to be thriving as planned.
Our fourth boat dive was at Pu’u Olai (Red Hills). A shallow site, it’s amazingly rich with life. We saw turtles stacked on each other, spotted eagle rays and a coral head with scorpion fish, moray eel, cleaner shrimp, and damsels.