Nov 11

Ahihi Bay – Maui

HonuAhihi Bay is part of the Ahihi-Kina’u Reserve.  It is probably the best place to snorkel on the island of Maui.  Karen and I saw countless boats going to Molokini Island, but we almost felt bad for all those people.  Ahihi Bay was hardly ever crowded and I cannot see how Molokini could be any better.  We did not have to tour with anybody, pay to be on a boat, and we saw all sorts of tropical fish and plenty of sea turtles.  Ahihi Bay was my favorite place to snorkel. 
Trumpet FishOnce you get into the large dirt parking lot it is just a short walk over some rough lava rocks until you hit the opening of the bay.  There is a small black sand area that is surrounded by lava rocks.  If you get there early enough you might get spot on the softer sand.  If not then just sit on your towel as you get your things ready for a wonderful snorkeling experience.
gravel beachThe bay is a little rough to get into.  There is not much sand at the entrance and it was a little rough getting in among the rocks, but once you are in the water it was an underwater paradise.  The view above water was also very pretty with a nice view of Haleakala and Molokini Island.  I highly recommend some sort of snorkeling boot or padded snorkeling sock.  Unless you have hardened feet the sharp lava pebbles you have to step on to get into the water can be a bit rough on the feet.
View from the waterKaren and I snorkeled here four times on our trip, and if we ever get the chance to go back to Maui then that is first place that we are going to head to.  It was wonderful every time that we went.  If the waves are not too rough then I highly recommend snorkeling out and to the right which would be heading north.  We saw all sorts of different types of fish like the spotted pufferfish, Moorish idols, triggerfish, and peacock groupers.  It was not only the fish that we found in abundance but we also saw four turtles there on one snorkeling trip.
Green sea TurtleSince it is a reserve make sure you do not wear sun screen but go with a UV shirt.  If you wear sun screen make sure you put it on at least a half an hour before you get into the water so the oil and residue will be thoroughly absorbed into your skin.  You will want to spend a lot of time in the water here so a UV shirt will provide a little more warmth and it will help keep the reserve healthy.  Since it is a reserve there is no fishing or spear fishing which means the fish are not as afraid of snorkelers as other places. 
Black TriggerfishGetting to Ahihi Bay is rather easy, just head south on Highway 31, take the Wailea Iki Drive towards the shops at Wailea and head left.  You will stay on Wailea Alanui Road for about five and half miles.  The closer you get to the  bay the narrower the road will get so take your time and share the road.  Ahihi Bay parking lot is in a dirt/lava area.  Once you park your car head for the signs at the end of the parking lot towards the ocean.  Follow the couple hundred yard gravelly path towards the gravel beach and you’ll be in for the snorkel experience of a lifetime!
Female Parrot Fish

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