Maybe you’re newly certified, it has been a while since you dove, or you are a once-a-year scuba diver when you go somewhere tropical (read WARM). Here is Shad’s list of things to do while you are on Maui for a week. You can use it to enjoy some diverse scuba diving along with some of Maui’s other treasures and “ono kine grinds” (food).
Day 1 Arrive on island, find your condo/resort, check in at Maui Dreams, get some necessities, snorkel a bit, and watch the sunset.
Day 2 Come in to the shop for a guided 2 tank shore dive. Use these dives to check your weight, get your neutral buoyancy on, and become familiarized with your equipment (your own equipment or our rental equipment).
Enjoy your dives with other certified divers and one of our guides. Learn a dive site with the help of your Divemaster or Instructor. Feel free to ask about compass headings, how you find the little puka (hole) with the little baby white tip reef shark in it, or tips on how to find the Hawaiian day octopus. Or simply kick back and let your guide act as a “bird dog” and point out interesting creatures and behaviors, tell you their names and teach you how to find out if that Honu is a boy or girl turtle.
After your dives, drive to Hookipa State Park to enjoy the surfers at sunset and watch the turtles come up on shore to rest. Drive back to Paia and get dinner at Milagros for good Mexican seafood.
Day 3 Go meet Crazy Captain Don, Ben and Willllllllllllllllson for a trip on the Maui Diamond II. Check in is at 6:15 a.m. for a 2 tank boat trip to enjoy the great visibility at Molokini and then another dive back near the shore. Possible dive sites (and sights) include the following: Red Hill as a drift dive and watch for scorpionfish, Wailea Point for the cleaning station out in 52 feet of water and watch for Hawaiian cleaner wrasses, or Stonewall for a great chance to see a passing manta ray. There are many other possibilities, so if you have a site request, just ask the captain!
The boat will have fed you, but divers are always hungry, so eat a great lunch at Ma’alaea General Store. And while you are still at the harbor, you can also go into the Maui Ocean Center and learn all kinds of strange and interesting facts about the ocean life here in Maui. For dinner, head to Pita Paradise for the delicious mahi mahi wrap. At some point tonight, get online and do the online class portion of the Nitrox/Enriched Air specialty. This certification is great if you plan on doing multiple dives in a day or if you are planning on going on a dive vacation to dive, dive, dive!!!!
Day 4 OK, you say you are here on vacation….FINE! You can have a day off to go play! Wake up and stop in for breakfast at Kihei Caffé. Consider the banana macadamia nut french toast, the HUGE breakfast burrito or make your own omelet (I like to put Portuguese sausage, mushrooms, jalapenos, spinach and swiss cheese on mine).
Roll yourself out of Kihei Caffé and hit the road towards Lahaina. Make sure to take in the scenic overlook, shopping in downtown Lahaina on Front Street, lunch at Teddy’s Burgers, desert at Ululani’s shave ice (Haleakala flavor with ice cream in the bottom and sweet cream on top). Go up to Honolua Bay for some snorkeling or for watching the surfers and continue along the north shore for as long as you dare (you can even go all the way around).
Stop in at Black Rock for more snorkeling and sunset. Watch as the local Hawaiian guy lights the torches out at black rock and finishes with a swan dive into the sea. After sunset, head Aloha Mixed Plate for some teriyaki beef or mahi mahi plate style with potato mac salad. I recommend trying the cocktails!
Day 5 Start your Advanced dive class this morning at the shop at 7:00. Get all your gear ready and follow your instructor down to a new dive site. Start out by test-flying a scooter and use it to take you further out than you could normally go and visit Marty’s Reef, a satellite reef in 62 feet of water. Watch for the yellowmargin moray eels and the green Hawaiian lionfish on the way out and back.
Come back in, change tanks and you are back in the water to do your Navigation dive. Fine-tune and practice your compass skills and natural navigation techniques to make you a better diver. Out above the sand, watch for freckled snake eels and flounders.
After this second dive, you’ve got the afternoon off. I suggest a nap in a hammock and some quick food before you go back out for your night dive.
Next, meet your instructor for a night dive where you practice your light discipline and techniques while looking for the conger eels, ornate octopuses, and spiny lobsters. You will get to use our awesome SOLA lights during your night dive and my guess is you may not want to give it back to your instructor when you’re done. We have them for sale at the shop if you love ‘em as much as we do!
Day 6 Back to the boat for two more dives to finish your Advanced class. On one dive, we will be practicing photography techniques underwater and will provide you with a digital camera and housing. Learn how to use your macro function for up-close pictures of mantis shrimps and gold lace nudibranchs.
We will also do a deep dive (maybe at the Carthaginian which is a whaling replica boat in 97 feet of water or at Molokini Crater). Watch how the red spectrum of light fades away and watch your decompression limits.
If we dive the Carthaginian, keep an eye out for the four frogfish and always keep an eye out towards the blue for whatever might swim by, including a submarine.
After the boat trip, come back to the shop to finish up the details for your Advanced class and review your photos. We’ll put them on disc for you so you get to take them with you. You can also use this time with your instructor to finish up your Nitrox certification by learning how to analyze your Nitrox tank and learn how Maui Dreams fills your tanks of Nitrox.
Tonight, dinner is at Café Ole for a sit down fresh fish dinner.
Day 7 No altitude after diving, so spend this last day getting the nitrogen out of your system, relaxing by the pool, shopping for last minute gifts (make sure you pick up a Maui Dreams t-shirt, hat, one of our “Got Air?” stickers and don’t forget to pick up a SOLA 1200 light!) and of course planning your next trip to Maui!!! You will also want to go back to Ululani’s…go ahead you only live once and that stuff is GOOOOOD!
Need more ideas? Just leave me a note here; I’m happy to help.