Thursday, January 26, 2012

Maui: Snorkeling Part II

Here are the rest of my reviews:

Olowalu Beach - 3 out of 3

Since it was still early (before 9am) the water was a bit chilly but we jumped right in. They say (who's they? The experts? Whatever!) that fish are most active in the early morning and early evening so we saw a lot of fish. The sand was gritty but there were virtually no rocks and the water was clear with so much coral. My sister and I actually swam through and around the coral like a maze and we saw so many interesting fish. We were really careful not to touch the coral (if you touch it, it dies!) but since the coral was in such shallow water, sometimes the waves would push us into it. It hurt us, but I'm sure it hurt the coral more.

Difficulty: easy
Parking: side of the road parking (and plenty of it)
Other comments: porta-potties

Kaanapili Beach (Black Rock) - 1.5 out of 3

(Kaanapili is pronounced KA-AH-na-PEEL-lee). We came here because it was so popular and mentioned by every book, website, brochure, and guide. However, I wasn't too impressed. The snorkeling itself was cumbersome and difficult because the waves were sort of violent and I kept on getting scared the water would push me into the rocks. But what made it even harder was the fact that there were so many people in the water; it was impossible to swim an inch without bumping into another snorkeler. However, there is a cliff-ish rock (the Black Rock) that juts out into the water and you can jump off. We saw a bunch of people doing it (I think with a guide/safety monitor) and it looked like a lot of fun. Plus, the sand is soft so the beach itself is great for lying around and sunbathing.

Difficulty: moderate (because of the crashing waves)
Parking: paid parking garage at the Whaler's village, minimal free parking in the garage adjacent (maybe 16 spots on the ground floor)
Other comments: showers and restrooms (courtesy of the Westin Maui)

Kapalua Bay Beach - 2 out of 3

Kapalua was the farthest north we went. It's right by a golf course and the Ritz Carlton. The sand had the texture of cornmeal (it was coarse but still weirdly soft) and the water was so clear and blue. The snorkeling itself was okay. There was plenty of coral and fish but there were a lot of rocks at the edge of the shoreline so that when it came time to get out of the water, it was difficult to avoid being pushed into rocks by the waves. The waves were actually pretty strong and we saw a few kids getting tossed around like insert something cliche here. The beach itself was pretty thin, not much room to lay out, but there were plenty of trees that provided shade for the umbrella-less.

Difficulty: easy
Parking: lot (not sure if it's free), we parked on the grassy bank on the side of the street, Lower Honoapillani Rd
Other comments: showers, restrooms, water fountains

Here are my sketches of the underwater ocean life that I saw. I only had a purple pen so I couldn't color anything in :(
And some photos from the Kamaole beaches:

getting our snorkels on
Happy snorkeling! :)

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