Mantas and more: Underwater in Hawaii!

Want to swim with him?

It’s a thrilling night.. fully guided, on a boat with both snorkelers and divers, where you jump in the dark water, 300′ offshore, and, along with your fellow swimmers, form a circle around the submerged spotlight. This light attracts plankton, which — you got it — attracts plankton eaters!  The prehistoric-looking mantas soar in from the darkness, their 25′ wingspans gliding gracefully but so powerfully right past you.  As they barrel roll, mouths wide agape to catch the plankton, their wings flutter under your belly.  I still get goosebumps, just remembering my shared minutes in the water with these creatures.  My 8-year-old scrambled up on my back, screeching in delight!

More underwater thrills?
Check out Molokini crater.  This crescent shaped atoll, an hour boatride west of Maui, is a playground for unusual marine life!


It’s a marine sanctuary, protecting and showcasing more than 250 types of fish.  And because it’s rock-based (a rock caldera, left over from volcanic explosion), the water is free of soil, so exceptionally clear!  

Also, because it is removed out in the Pacific, it attracts more diverse marine life — rays, turtles, and even, occasionally, a whale shark!

Not a typical shark at all! These humongous creatures are vegetarian, and feel on plankton, like the mantas above!

Want a place closer to your main hub on Oahu?
Hanauma Bay is famous for having the most fish, but it is CROWDED!  And crowds still up silt.
So, try Shark’s Cove on the north shore!  Make sure the waves are not too big (remember, North Shore Oahu is big-time Surf country!) and be prepared for strong currents!
But also be ready to be treated to great clarity and wonderful marine life…
Butterfly fish, parrot fish, damsel fish, surgeon fish, tang, wrasse, big eye, perch, chub, trigger fish, goat fish, jacks, mullet, cornet fish, needle fish, eels, turtles, and — YES! —  sharks!


For kids in your group, there are fun tide pools, too. 
Wear good foot gear for the rocks, and get there early.  After 10am, the parking can be tough! 

Finally, don’t miss water fun, atop the waves!  Kayak the tallest sea cliffs in the world, hike to magnificent backcountry waterfalls, and marvel at the lava flow from the comfy deck of your guided cruiser!

 
Photo credit for some shots to Pride of Maui, a wonderful guiding outfit to take you out to Molokini Crater!

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