Diving vs. Snorkeling

I’ve been given many strange looks by snorkelers when they find out I’m a scuba diver. “What is the advantage of diving over snorkeling?” they ask, or “I can see just as much from the surface as you can diving!” The truth is that you can see plenty from the surface… and even more when you are underwater and with the critters! I love to spot a turtle when I’m snorkeling, but how much more rewarding is it to be swimming with them? Diving has made me realize that I’d much rather be inside the aquarium than just looking in!

Turtles are of course one of the more popular sea critters that people come to Maui to see, but there are many other things to be scoped out under our beautiful blue waters. Raccoon Butterflyfish can be seen near shore, but they appear in larger schools when you get into slightly deeper waters. The same goes for our Bluestripe Snappers which I’m sure many snorkelers have seen, but I prefer the impressive schools that can be seen around 65’ at Marty’s Reef or the St. Anthony. You’re just not gonna see these fish as well from the surface, much less be able to swim through the schools!

Then there is the little stuff like Nudibranchs that are just too small and too well-hidden to be seen from the surface. Two of my favorites are the Gold Lace Nudibranch and the Blue Dragon Nudibranch which are more common to find in deeper waters. And this year in particular, we’ve been seeing the (pictured) Kangaroo Nudibranchs very frequently!

Speaking of camouflage, our well-disguised ocean dwellers such as the Devil Scorpionfish and Flounders are often overlooked even by divers who are just a few feet away, and they are pretty much impossible to spot from the surface.

Its not just the critters that we go diving to see, we have Wire Corals that are more likely to grow at depth and are rarely seen close to shore. There are wrecks and other historical remains such as anchors and airplanes that can be reached via scuba diving.

The list just goes on and on, and I try not to sound like an elitist; I do enjoy snorkeling as well! But the weightless feeling of gliding through the ocean with the critters that you want to see swimming all around you is just an experience that is not to be missed!

If you’re a certified diver, we have both shore and boat excursions that can take you out to many of these not-to-be-missed sites, and if you’re not certified… well come on in anyway and we’ll take you out to try scuba diving– its the experience of a lifetime!

Aloha, Sara