Snorkelling in a Volcanic Vent

“It’s okay.”

This was the informed opinion of a local, when we told him we were booked on a snorkelling trip out to Molokini crater the next day. Talk about damned by faint praise! He was clearly of a mind that there are much better places to snorkel around Maui.

This, of course, had us second-guessing ourselves. “Had we booked the wrong excursion? Were we going to be disappointed? Had we made a huge mistake?”

As it turns out, the answer to all these questions was a resounding, “No!”

Maui Snorkel Charters logoThere seems to be an endless number of companies competing for the privilege of taking tourists out to Molokini. We ended up choosing Maui Snorkel Charters, and we couldn’t have been happier. Captain Joe, Trish and Jerry were the perfect hosts and knowledgeable guides.

We’d hardly left the boat ramp when we had our first excitement of the day, when Joe pointed out an adult sea turtle swimming close to shore. We were all thrilled. At the time, none of us knew what we’d later experience at Turtle Town. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Turtle ahoy!

Turtle ahoy!

Molokini is a small crescent-shaped island in the channel between Maui and Kahoʻolawe. It is in fact the rim of an extinct vent on the submerged side of Maui’s Haleakala volcano, which today protects a beautiful coral reef within the confines of its arms.

Molokini Crater from the air

Molokini Crater from the air

Approaching Molokini

Approaching Molokini

Our first mooring point was near the tip of the eastern arm. Here, in the shallow waters above the coral reef and in the bubble-filled surf zone, we saw all sorts of beautiful and exotic fish. Not to mention the coral itself. We even spotted some Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (don’t ask me to pronounce that!), Hawaii’s national fish.

Me at Molokini

Me at Molokini

Our hosts: Captain Joe onboard, Trish alongside the boat, and Jerry on the stern platform.

Our hosts: Captain Joe onboard, Trish alongside the boat, and Jerry on the stern platform.

Haleakala from the eastern arm of Molokini

Haleakala from the eastern arm of Molokini

Molokini surf zone

Molokini surf zone

Fish and sun rays

Fish and sun rays

Rich getting a closer look

Rich getting a closer look

Another fish (no idea what it is!) and the reef

Another fish (no idea what it is!) and the reef

Moray eel (I know that one!)

Moray eel (I know that one!)

Lori & Rich

Lori & Rich

Next, we moved over to Molokini’s western arm, to where the shallow coral reef within the vent, falls away into the depths. Captain Joe dropped us in the water some distance offshore, and then Trish guided us along the edge of the reef, towards the tip of the island. The feel of this part of the reef was very different to that within the crater. You really got a sense of the abyss below. We even saw a young shark (a white-tipped shark, if I remember rightly), patrolling the reef’s edge beneath us!

Near the edge

Near the edge

At the edge

At the edge

Over the edge

Over the edge

Beyond the edge

Beyond the edge

Shark!

Shark!

As I hinted at earlier, our final destination was Turtle Town, on the way back to the boat ramp. Here, five underwater caves are home to a number of sea turtles. But being air breathers, the turtles must make regular(ish) visits to the surface, giving us the most amazing views of this incredible animals.

A resident re-entering one of the caves at Tuttle Town

A resident re-entering one of the caves at Tuttle Town

Turtle below

Turtle below

Close encounter

Close encounter

During our time on Maui, on more than one occasion I heard tales of where the locals go snorkelling. And how these sites put Molokini to shame. All I can say, is that these mystical locations must be out of this world.

Because to us, Molokini crater and Turtle Town were simply jaw-dropping. Easily the best snorkelling any of us had ever done. Thanks Joe, Trish and Jerry for some wonderful memories!

Sue at Turtle Town, with Haleakala in the background

Sue at Turtle Town, with Haleakala in the background

If you enjoyed this post, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal, or through my websiteFacebook, Twitter and Instagram?

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

Advertisements

About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Adventure, Environment, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Travel, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Snorkelling in a Volcanic Vent

  1. Jaap Kroon says:

    Wonderful pictures!

  2. Angeline M says:

    Gorgeous photos. We haven’t been to Maui in so long, we always go to Kauai or Oahu. So tempted for the next Hawaii trip!

  3. Those underwater photos are unreal!! Folks just booked a trip to Hawaii and we’ve never been so this is making it even more tempting 🙂

    • Jaspa says:

      The whole trip was incredible! And as for activities in the water, swimming with wild dolphins and manta rays (blogs to follow) was even better than the snorkeling at Molokini. You guys have to go if you can make it!!

  4. Pingback: Swimming With Wild Manta Rays In Hawaii | Jaspa's Journal

  5. Pingback: Kalaupapa Mule Trail, Molokai, Hawaii | Jaspa's Journal

I'd love to hear what you've got to say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s