Snorkeling in Maui is a breathtaking experience for most first-time snorkelers. The rush of emotions that come over you as you enter the waters at the Molokini Crater is something that you will never forget. The beauty of the marine life and the freedom that you feel floating on the surface will be difficult to replicate. But, with great opportunity comes great responsibility.
Here are the Top 10 Things You Should Never Do When in Maui Snorkeling at Molokini Crater and around the various snorkeling locations in Hawaii. Actually, there are many more things that you should never do while snorkeling in general, but here are what we believe are the Top 10.
- Never make contact with any marine life, at any time. The excitement that you feel when you see your first sea turtle up-close and personal will almost definitely compel you to reach out and touch it. We completely get it, but fight the urge! We want multiple generations to have the ability to enjoy the majestic marine life in Maui and human contact can cause irreparable harm to the ecosystem.
- Never throw anything into the water. Of course, we all know not to throw any litter into the sea, but that goes for all food and drink, as well. While items may be “biodegradable”, even the smallest item can offset the natural ecological balance and negatively impact the marine life in the region.
- Never feed the whales or fish! Putting food into the water will almost certainly draw the attention of the marine life around you, but it will alter the natural balance of the marine environment and can have dramatic negative effects. Eat it or trash it!
- Don’t rush – Swim smoothly. First-time snorkelers have a tendency to believe that faster movements will result in faster swimming in the water. In fact, you will find almost the exact opposite. The smoother you move, the faster that you will glide across the surface. Relax, take long slow swimming strokes, breathe slowly, and enjoy the scenery!
- Don’t ignore your fellow passengers when on your snorkeling boat in Maui. It takes less effort to say hello than it does to look away. Plus, you will likely see these same passengers several times during your 3-hour and 5-hour snorkeling tour in Maui, so why not “break the ice” immediately. Everyone is happy on a snorkeling boat, so enjoy it!
- Never use sunscreen that is not Reef-Safe or Reef-Friendly Sunscreen. A study published in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, showed four major toxic effects in early, developing coral: increased susceptibility to bleaching; DNA damage (genotoxicity); abnormal skeleton growth (via endocrine disruption); and gross deformities of baby coral. Maui Snorkeling provides free Sun Bum sunscreen to any customer that wants it, so just ask us.
- Don’t climb on Molokini Crater. Like the breathtaking marine life, Molokini Crater is an amazing experience. Trust us, you’re gonna want to climb on it, but don’t! Molokini is a partially submerged volcanic crater which forms a small, uninhabited islet and it is protected from contact from the general public.
- Don’t wear a full-face mask. While many snorkel shops will sell you a full-face snorkeling mask, concerns have been raised by a number of groups which have found them to be a safety risk. A story published by CBS outlined concerns. As a result, most snorkeling boats in Maui have prohibited the use of them on snorkeling trips Maui, including Molokini, Turtle Town, and Coral Gardens.
- Don’t drink alcohol before entering the water. Maui is a great place to vacation and an even better place to relax with your favorite drink. Our only restriction is to limit your drinking until AFTER you finish snorkeling. Once you are done, climb aboard and have complimentary beer from Maui Brewing Company or one of our World-Famous Lani Kai Tai’s.
- Don’t lose track of your surroundings. The amazement you will feel when snorkeling with turtles in turtle town can cause you to lose track of your surroundings. While Maui snorkeling boats will have a number of crew members designated to watch you, it’s easy to get mesmerized by the marine life around you
There you have it. A quick list for you to remember when snorkeling in Maui. Follow those suggestions and you are sure to have the best time and will leave the Molokini Crater, Turtle Town, and Coral Gardens in the same condition that you experienced. Leaving it for everyone to enjoy for generations to come! Mahalo