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nuxx
09/10/2014, 12:54 PM
Hey guys,

We're going to Maui for 7 days at the beginning of December and staying at the Ritz. Heard there was a decent snorkeling spot right in front of the hotel.

Anyway...

I really wanted to see some Achilles Tangs, but heard they are more common in Oahu.

What are the chances of seeing Achilles around Maui?

Also, any chance to see Chevrons or Crosshatch Triggers? I know the Crosshatches are more deep water though.

I've never seen a scuba/snorkeling picture of a Chevron though... maybe just hard to tell if they are their adult colors???

Thanks :D

wav0718
09/11/2014, 07:29 AM
http://youtu.be/ggexyUkWTWA

nuxx
09/11/2014, 08:32 AM
Awesome video Wes :)

Which spots did you think were the best?

Any Achilles sightings?

wav0718
09/11/2014, 11:24 PM
Thanks. I would skip on the whale watching tour and just do the snorkeling at molokini crater. I saw some achilles there close to the wall. You might get lucky and see some dolphins, whale sharks or whales on the way there.

http://youtu.be/yl5k7ZngR14

billsreef
09/12/2014, 10:30 AM
Best place for Achilles is the shallow wave swept water, right in the surge. Most snorkeling ops get very nervous and don't like you in those spots....easy to get knocked into the rocks and cut up a bit or sea urchins spines jammed into you. IMO a small price to pay to see them in their natural habitat. Cross hatch your not to likely to see snorkeling, though not impossible. Cheveron tangs are not that common, so just keep your eyes open.

nuxx
09/12/2014, 10:37 AM
Thanks. I would skip on the whale watching tour and just do the snorkeling at molokini crater. I saw some achilles there close to the wall. You might get lucky and see some dolphins, whale sharks or whales on the way there.

http://youtu.be/yl5k7ZngR14

Great Wes thanks :)

We were going to check out Molokini as well :)

What's "the wall"... sorry never been before :reading:

nuxx
09/12/2014, 10:39 AM
Best place for Achilles is the shallow wave swept water, right in the surge. Most snorkeling ops get very nervous and don't like you in those spots....easy to get knocked into the rocks and cut up a bit or sea urchins spines jammed into you. IMO a small price to pay to see them in their natural habitat. Cross hatch your not to likely to see snorkeling, though not impossible. Cheveron tangs are not that common, so just keep your eyes open.

Thanks Bill, do you have you beach of reef names in Maui that are good to check out?

I know some collectors in Oahu and they say Crosshatches are very deep water fish. Also with how often Chevrons do not show up on their lists, I guess they are:

a) Very rare

or

b) Just mostly in adult coloration, which doesn't seem to be popular with reef keepers...

NTP66
09/12/2014, 11:13 AM
The only problem you may have is that December is winter in Maui, and the surf really kicks up on the western coast near where you're staying. That being said, you really have to play it by ear. If you book a snorkel tour (I highly recommend Trilogy; been on a number of their trips, and they've been fantastic), they will always have backup spots if their main target isn't ideal.

You've got Honolua Bay - my personal favorite - nearby, as well as Black Rock. You'll see anything and everything in either of those spots, including many Achilles Tangs. I've never snorkeled in Maui and NOT seen many of them. If you decide to venture out a little further, you can take a day trip to Lana'i and snorkel Hulopo'e Bay, where you'll see yellow tangs the size of dinner plates (among other things).

I've only ever seen a few Crosshatches in Maui, but they're certainly there (most are in much deeper water). Chances are, you'll see more pink tailed triggers and rectangle triggers than any of the others. :)

billsreef
09/12/2014, 11:26 AM
Thanks Bill, do you have you beach of reef names in Maui that are good to check out?

Pretty much anyplace you get in the water is good. Hanakao'o Beach Park, by the cemetery, is where a large Domino Damsel bit me...and drew blood :eek1: :lol: Out by Makena is Turtle Town/5 caves, good place for turtles.

nuxx
09/12/2014, 11:30 AM
Pretty much anyplace you get in the water is good. Hanakao'o Beach Park, by the cemetery, is where a large Domino Damsel bit me...and drew blood :eek1: :lol: Out by Makena is Turtle Town/5 caves, good place for turtles.



Will add to the list :)

Being in the water is the main reason I want to ;)

nuxx
09/12/2014, 11:33 AM
The only problem you may have is that December is winter in Maui, and the surf really kicks up on the western coast near where you're staying. That being said, you really have to play it by ear. If you book a snorkel tour (I highly recommend Trilogy; been on a number of their trips, and they've been fantastic), they will always have backup spots if their main target isn't ideal.

You've got Honolua Bay - my personal favorite - nearby, as well as Black Rock. You'll see anything and everything in either of those spots, including many Achilles Tangs. I've never snorkeled in Maui and NOT seen many of them. If you decide to venture out a little further, you can take a day trip to Lana'i and snorkel Hulopo'e Bay, where you'll see yellow tangs the size of dinner plates (among other things).

I've only ever seen a few Crosshatches in Maui, but they're certainly there (most are in much deeper water). Chances are, you'll see more pink tailed triggers and rectangle triggers than any of the others. :)

Thanks so much :)

Got tons of stuff to look into now.

Been all over the Caribbean, but have never kept any fish from that area. So it'll be interesting to see things I've kept and want to keep in Hawaii :)

NTP66
09/12/2014, 11:34 AM
Thanks so much :)

Got tons of stuff to look into now.

Been all over the Caribbean, but have never kept any fish from that area. So it'll be interesting to see things I've kept and want to keep in Hawaii :)

I wanted to keep the entire island of Maui (my favorite place on Earth), but it wouldn't fit into the overhead compartment on the plane home. :(

Reefers4U
09/12/2014, 12:41 PM
I dove with Lahaina divers for most of my dives in Maui - very professional outfit. Saw some awesome stuff with them and they took me on an awesome hammerhead dive - check out the cathedrals if you can too.

Also did a beach dive where I saw a whole school of Chevrons spawning - this was in August tho so like others have said you are going in the winter months not sure how its going to be.

For a good beach dive guy check out ShakaDoug - you can google him.

Have fun and take some pics so we can enjoy too!

nuxx
09/12/2014, 01:36 PM
Awesome to see Chevrons spawning :)

I'll check out all the suggestions!

We're hoping they release a new GoPro model in the fall. If not we'll pick up a current generation.

Larz_1
09/12/2014, 04:55 PM
I wanted to keep the entire island of Maui (my favorite place on Earth), but it wouldn't fit into the overhead compartment on the plane home. :(

+1
Been to Maui many times (and Kauai, and the Big Island) and it's ALWAYS hard to leave.
We just went to Kauai again in July and we miss it already. <sigh>


You've got Honolua Bay - my personal favorite - nearby, as well as Black Rock. You'll see anything and everything in either of those spots, including many Achilles Tangs. I've never snorkeled in Maui and NOT seen many of them.

Yep, Honolua Bay and Black Rock are two "Don't miss" spots. The current around Black Rock can be strong (maybe more-so in winter) so use good judgement.

For when you are not snorkeling .... the Road to Hana is a beautiful drive that you should see at least once. Nice way to spend a day - lots to see.

Have fun and enjoy!!!!

wav0718
09/13/2014, 04:34 AM
Great Wes thanks :)

We were going to check out Molokini as well :)

What's "the wall"... sorry never been before :reading:

What Bill was talking about, where the surge happens in molokini, you can see it in the second video link i provided with some achilles tangs hanging around the rock face.
http://youtu.be/yl5k7ZngR14

sorry, i know the video is hard to watch with the fisheye and shakiness.

nuxx
09/15/2014, 11:33 AM
What Bill was talking about, where the surge happens in molokini, you can see it in the second video link i provided with some achilles tangs hanging around the rock face.
http://youtu.be/yl5k7ZngR14

sorry, i know the video is hard to watch with the fisheye and shakiness.

Awesome :)

Just bought two GoPros :)

marinemanohio
09/17/2014, 08:47 AM
There is a little spot called Black Rock in Maui. If you ask around, you can find it. I saw a whole horde of Achilles tangs out there and I was only snorkeling! If you stand on the beach under the tree line, you will see a rock poking out of the water out and to the left. Maybe 50 yards or so. Head towards that rock and there is a huge "room" surrounded by gigantic brain coral columns. It's kind of hard to get in, but I believe there is a gap to the right of it. Once in, it opens up more to the back, but you wouldn't know it if you saw it from that angle.

If you find it, hands down, it was one of the most densely populated areas of fish I've ever been in! I dropped by almost every day to check it out and it was always loaded.

Do be careful if you head out the back. There's a hole that had a tendency to draw in nurse sharks, and in low tide it is shallow enough that you could probably kick them if you didn't see them.

marinemanohio
09/17/2014, 08:50 AM
A quick Google search provided a lot of information. Here's one of many.
http://bckrvue.blogspot.com/2012/03/clift-diving-and-snorkeling.html

By the way, it was a really fun spot, too!

NTP66
09/17/2014, 08:54 AM
To add to the list, here are some links that I used when I first traveled to Maui years ago. I can vouch for every single spot:

http://www.hawaiisnorkelingguide.com/maui_snorkeling.html
http://mauisnorkeling.net/maui-snorkel-map/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g29220-c132196/Maui:Hawaii:Maui.Snorkeling.Spots.html

nuxx
09/17/2014, 08:58 AM
Wow guys great suggestions :D

I was a little bummed at first, since I thought Oahu would be better for fish... guess I was wrong!

NTP66
09/17/2014, 09:14 AM
Wow guys great suggestions :D

I was a little bummed at first, since I thought Oahu would be better for fish... guess I was wrong!

Personally, I've had better experiences in the water in Maui, but I'm extremely biased towards that island. Either way, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Just make sure you don't bother/touch any Honu (green sea turtles). They're protected, and you'll be in a world of trouble if caught. Same goes for the humpbacks. :)

nuxx
09/17/2014, 09:16 AM
Personally, I've had better experiences in the water in Maui, but I'm extremely biased towards that island. Either way, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Just make sure you don't bother/touch any Honu (green sea turtles). They're protected, and you'll be in a world of trouble if caught. Same goes for the humpbacks. :)

LOL yeah not really looking to touch anything :)

Was pretty upset when a kid was trying to catch a damsel with a bag in Turks and Caicos earlier this year...

Deinonych
09/18/2014, 02:53 PM
Best place for Achilles is the shallow wave swept water, right in the surge. Most snorkeling ops get very nervous and don't like you in those spots....easy to get knocked into the rocks and cut up a bit or sea urchins spines jammed into you. IMO a small price to pay to see them in their natural habitat. Cross hatch your not to likely to see snorkeling, though not impossible. Cheveron tangs are not that common, so just keep your eyes open.

+1

I've never seen Chevrons at snorkeling depths - most times they are at depths of 30-60ft. They are more common on BI than Maui in my experience. I've never seen a Crosshatch at recreational diving depths on the main HI islands. Supposedly they are common in the NW HI islands, though...

SammyL
09/18/2014, 03:41 PM
Your gonna love the ritz! My wife and I stayed there for 10 days a few years ago. Very nice restrarunt a cross the street at the plantation.

nuxx
09/18/2014, 03:55 PM
Thanks Sammy and Chris :)

My wife was a little weirded out by the Ritz having a lower rating on trip advisor. You were pretty happy over all?

Any suggestions for restaurants, stuff to do? Casual to fancy, doesn't matter. I plan to be in the water everyday :)

Deinonych
09/18/2014, 05:47 PM
I highly recommend Merriman's restaurant in Kapalua...not far from the Ritz. All farm to table cuisine and it's to die for. Mama's Fish House in Paia is also very good. We usually stay down in Wailea so we aren't as familiar with the eating choices in West Maui. You'll have a blast...Maui is my favorite HI island.

NTP66
09/19/2014, 07:09 AM
Any suggestions for restaurants, stuff to do? Casual to fancy, doesn't matter. I plan to be in the water everyday :)

That's a loaded question - I could probably plan your entire trip down to the minute if needed, lol. I'm the opposite of Deinonych, in that my wife and I always stay in Ka'anapali while in Maui (by far my favorite island, as well).

In all the years we've been going to Maui, we've never gone to Mama's Fish House, but if you ask anyone, it's outstanding. You just have to make sure you plan ahead - sometimes days ahead, depending on the season. Here are a few of my own recommendations:

Food:
If you're flying into Kahalui, you have to stop at Da Kitchen (http://www.da-kitchen.com) for a bite to eat. It's phenominal, and only minutes from the airport. I can personally vouch for their Kalua Pork and Teryaki Beef plate lunches.

Right on Front Street in Lahaina is Cool Cat Cafe (http://www.coolcatcafe.com/). They've got the best burgers in Maui, IMO. Aloha Mixed Plate is pretty good, too, and inexpensive.

You can't go to Hawai'i and not try shave ice, so check out Local Boys Shave Ice (http://www.localboysshaveice.com/). Again, the best in Maui (IMO).

If you're a pancake lover, you have to go to the Gazebo restaurant at Napili Shores, if only for their macadamia nut pancakes. Get there early, and be prepared to wait in line, but it's so worth it. The views are amazing, too.

Stuff to do:
Kapalua Ziplines (http://kapaluaziplines.com/) has some high, long, and fast lines, which my wife and I loved. Be warned, though, that you have to hike to each tower. Incredible views from the lines, too.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3879/15100375337_d19b851ee6_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/p1nnuV)
Kapalua Ziplines (https://flic.kr/p/p1nnuV) by NTP9766 (https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

My wife and I both love the Old Lahaina Luau (http://www.oldlahainaluau.com/), and go every single time we visit. It's authentic, the show tells the story of the Hawaiian people and culture, and their buffet dinner is outstanding.

Whenever we want to do any boat excursion, we use Trilogy (http://www.sailtrilogy.com/). They've been there since the 70's, and their crews are top notch. We've used them for snorkeling in Honolua Bay, whale watches (West Maui), and day trips to Lana'i, and have loved every single one.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5487/9552456033_e55f76f589_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/fy7QnP)
Honolua Bay (https://flic.kr/p/fy7QnP) by NTP9766 (https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

The Maui Tropical Plantation (http://www.mauitropicalplantation.com/#welcome) is a nice place to visit during the day, especially when the craft fair/market is open (Mondays). If you've never had Maui gold pineapple, this is the place to get it.

We also loved the West Maui/Molokai helicopter tour via Air Maui (http://www.airmaui.com/). Going over the tallest sea cliffs on Earth was worth the price alone.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3859/15100755048_b7449b20c7.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/p1pjnE)
Molokai (https://flic.kr/p/p1pjnE) by NTP9766 (https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Finally, if you're inclined to do the Road to Hana, I suggest booking through Valley Isle (http://tourmaui.com/) and asking for Charlie as your driver. I originally wanted to just drive it myself, but would not have been able to appreciate the scenery at the wheel. As for Charlie, he's one of the funniest people I've ever met.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5593/15286978762_77529deb47.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/phRLcm)
Oheo Gulch (https://flic.kr/p/phRLcm) by NTP9766 (https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Keep in mind that a lot of activities on Maui do sell out quickly, so it pays to plan ahead a little. I've always booked my tours and such months in advance to make sure everything is available, and while I'm a little overboard, you may want to look at booking things a few weeks prior to your trip. With regards to both Trilogy and the Old Lahaina Luau, both were booked completely solid by the time we landed for the entire trip. I write reviews for basically everything I do on vacation, so if you're bored, feel free to browse around: http://www.tripadvisor.com/members-reviews/NTP66.

I realize this is a long post, but hey, you asked. :)

nuxx
09/19/2014, 12:37 PM
Wow no problem with the huge post and all the suggestions, it'll definitely get a close look over.

I just forwarded the thread to my wife to look it over much closer. I think the Trilogy Molokini and Lanai trips will be fun. Also will see if we can find a company or two that do some more personal type scuba/snuba/snorkeling stuff as well.

Merriman's and Mama's sound really good as well... already getting hungry :)

NTP66
09/19/2014, 02:12 PM
Also will see if we can find a company or two that do some more personal type scuba/snuba/snorkeling stuff as well.


Glad to help. :) FWIW, Trilogy does offer Snuba on all of their snorkel trips, and it's usually a max of 4 or so people, which isn't bad at all.

nuxx
09/19/2014, 02:14 PM
Glad to help. :) FWIW, Trilogy does offer Snuba on all of their snorkel trips, and it's usually a max of 4 or so people, which isn't bad at all.

Shot them an email about an hour ago... asked a bunch of questions :)

NTP66
09/19/2014, 02:18 PM
Another word of advice with regards to Trilogy (and all other snorkel sails, really) - book the earliest tours you can tolerate. The seas are much calmer in the morning, and you'll have better visibility in the water. The waves kick up in the afternoon, and could make for an uneasy trip back to land.

Deinonych
09/19/2014, 04:31 PM
If you're going in December, that's plenty of time to get certified for SCUBA if you're so inclined. :D Snorkeling is fun, but SCUBA puts you in a whole different world. Hawai'i has such diverse fauna, you'll see something new every dive.

tkeracer619
10/01/2014, 01:39 PM
Go down to the Mana Kai Resort. Southern Side of Kihei. They have some visitor parking and if you walk through the lobby to their beach you will find an incredible reef to check out.

Here's a cool vid from my last trip and a pretty good example of what that reef will be like in front of that resort. Very diverse area with bunches of turtles.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM6LzsKr2_8&list=UUKnlzTNy1WD74pIlN7h2Ldw


Something as a newb you should know. Early morning, Dusk, and dirty water snorkeling is what we call fishing (you are the lure). There are a lot of tiger sharks in maui's water and tiger sharks eat turtles. If the water does not have great visibility DO NOT follow turtles. If the water gets murky get out, if you see minimal marine life... get out, if the locals aren't in the water don't get in. Watch for the surge and always be aware of your surroundings.

http://oos.soest.hawaii.edu/pacioos/projects/sharks/

If you or the wife are trying to remove tan lines look up little beach during the week. On Sunday evenings there will be a huge party on that beach with all sorts of fire jugglers, dancing, and live local music but very little nudity.

If you want to get to molokini early the first boat out is usually B&B. 1300 people are going to make it through the crater each day, if you don't get there early most of the fish are gone. First thing is amazing and B&B tries for the best mooring points. If you are lucky you can make it to the pennical after molokini and swim with the spinner dolphins that live there. Get certified, take your classes wherever you live and do your open water on the boat in maui.


My best advice is to slow down when you get there, nobody honks their horns unless they need to. The pace is different, toss on some reggae, and while you are in Hawaii be full of Aloha. Maui has a special place in my heart. It will be my home one day.

Deinonych
10/02/2014, 11:00 PM
Go down to the Mana Kai Resort. Southern Side of Kihei. They have some visitor parking and if you walk through the lobby to their beach you will find an incredible reef to check out.

Here's a cool vid from my last trip and a pretty good example of what that reef will be like in front of that resort. Very diverse area with bunches of turtles.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM6LzsKr2_8&list=UUKnlzTNy1WD74pIlN7h2Ldw


Something as a newb you should know. Early morning, Dusk, and dirty water snorkeling is what we call fishing (you are the lure). There are a lot of tiger sharks in maui's water and tiger sharks eat turtles. If the water does not have great visibility DO NOT follow turtles. If the water gets murky get out, if you see minimal marine life... get out, if the locals aren't in the water don't get in. Watch for the surge and always be aware of your surroundings.

http://oos.soest.hawaii.edu/pacioos/projects/sharks/

If you or the wife are trying to remove tan lines look up little beach during the week. On Sunday evenings there will be a huge party on that beach with all sorts of fire jugglers, dancing, and live local music but very little nudity.

If you want to get to molokini early the first boat out is usually B&B. 1300 people are going to make it through the crater each day, if you don't get there early most of the fish are gone. First thing is amazing and B&B tries for the best mooring points. If you are lucky you can make it to the pennical after molokini and swim with the spinner dolphins that live there. Get certified, take your classes wherever you live and do your open water on the boat in maui.


My best advice is to slow down when you get there, nobody honks their horns unless they need to. The pace is different, toss on some reggae, and while you are in Hawaii be full of Aloha. Maui has a special place in my heart. It will be my home one day.

Great advice above. We usually dive with Mike Severns; they get out to Molokini super early as well. Last couple times we dove with them, we were the only ones out on the crater. We'll be on Maui in a couple weeks - can't wait to hit the water!

tkeracer619
10/03/2014, 02:31 PM
Mike Severns; they get out to Molokini super early as well. Last couple times we dove with them, we were the only ones out on the crater.

I've seen them race to a mooring point more than once. Have fun on your trip!

nuxx
12/17/2014, 02:30 PM
Hey guys just got back, had a great time :)

Will type more about what we did in the next few days... just so much to catch up on!

Did see a lot of Achilles though.

Saw the most snorkeling at Lana'i. Plenty of large ones and pairs.

Saw two smaller ones in a pair in the surge zone at Molokini while snorkeling as well.

Saw a larger one scuba diving off of the Mala Wharf too.

Might have saw Chevrons as well... not sure... were adults, might have been Acanthurus nigroris though...

ace_92101
12/17/2014, 02:42 PM
Glad it was a great trip! Nothing better than being in the water.

nuxx
12/17/2014, 02:43 PM
Thanks!

What do you think there are?

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2465386

Reefers4U
12/17/2014, 04:26 PM
I ran across this video the other day coincidentally.

And I'm not all together sure they are Chevrons now.....

Still a pretty rad thing to see.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/azjpQ8dCalQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

nuxx
12/18/2014, 03:02 PM
Here is a pair of Achilles we saw while snorkeling off of Lana'i (Saw a lot more there):

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IeiqRPvXj20?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Here is a smaller pair of Achilles in the surge zone off of Molokini:

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QLzVD6aRS7c?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Large Whitetip Reef Sharf while scuba diving off of the Mala Wharf:

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4hH0gnpuBSs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


These were short videos for Facebook... need to put up the full ones later on...

kkittredge
04/01/2015, 06:25 PM
very cool. Going to Maui this summer. Any feedback on top 1 or 2 spots to go to?

nuxx
04/02/2015, 09:38 AM
very cool. Going to Maui this summer. Any feedback on top 1 or 2 spots to go to?

Best where the day trip to Lana'i, basically best fish were just off of the beach.

Most people on our trip just hung out at the beach while we were in the water for hours :)

Also Molokini probably had the best variety of wildlife. Easy to get away from the groups and check out most of the fish close to where the water breaks.

kkittredge
04/02/2015, 09:52 AM
Thanks. Really appreciate reply.

nuxx
04/02/2015, 09:55 AM
Thanks. Really appreciate reply.

No problem, was really not let down at all.

I have pretty high expectations and I left Maui pretty happy :)

snorvich
04/02/2015, 10:54 AM
Best place for Achilles is the shallow wave swept water, right in the surge. Most snorkeling ops get very nervous and don't like you in those spots....easy to get knocked into the rocks and cut up a bit or sea urchins spines jammed into you.

I agree. They habit surge areas usually fairly shallow.

nuxx
04/02/2015, 11:57 AM
I agree. They habit surge areas usually fairly shallow.

They aren't that hard to find, probably saw at least 20 on the 2 dives and 3-4 snorkeling trips we did.

Looks like we're heading to Oahu this July as well :)

Any tips?

NTP66
04/02/2015, 12:00 PM
They aren't that hard to find, probably saw at least 20 on the 2 dives and 3-4 snorkeling trips we did.

Looks like we're heading to Oahu this July as well :)

Any tips?

Avoid H1 at all costs. Seriously, just don't do it. Hanauma Bay is a must if you're on Oahu, and plan on getting there as early as humanly possible.

nuxx
04/02/2015, 12:01 PM
Avoid H1 at all costs. Seriously, just don't do it. Hanauma Bay is a must if you're on Oahu, and plan on getting there as early as humanly possible.

Suggestions of where to stay? Will probably only want to stay in the city for a day or two.

Thinking the North Shore, haven't really put much thought into it...

NTP66
04/02/2015, 12:04 PM
Suggestions of where to stay? Will probably only want to stay in the city for a day or two.

Thinking the North Shore, haven't really put much thought into it...

I've only been to Oahu once, so I'll defer to others who have visited more frequently. We stayed at the Park Shore Waikiki last winter and have nothing but good things to say about them. Outstanding location in that area (free parking on the next street over, which is hard to come by), and very reasonable in terms of price.

nuxx
04/02/2015, 12:06 PM
I've only been to Oahu once, so I'll defer to others who have visited more frequently. We stayed at the Park Shore Waikiki last winter and have nothing but good things to say about them. Outstanding location in that area (free parking on the next street over, which is hard to come by), and very reasonable in terms of price.

Thanks we'll check it out.

Stayed at a VERY nice hotel in Maui, but ended up not using the room at all. We were always out. Really no need for a suite with ocean view haha

NTP66
04/02/2015, 12:13 PM
Thanks we'll check it out.

Stayed at a VERY nice hotel in Maui, but ended up not using the room at all. We were always out. Really no need for a suite with ocean view haha

We were always out and about, too. Still, we've always had at least an ocean view or oceanfront unit in Maui, and going during whale season is reason enough, to be honest. We can see and hear the whales from our unit in Ka'anapali, which made for extremely pleasant breakfasts on the lanai.

One thing I'll say about Oahu is that, while it's still an incredible island, don't expect it to be like Maui. Maui has a charm all to its own, IMO.

kkittredge
04/02/2015, 10:59 PM
Straying a little, but did anyone go to the Wakkiki aquarium? Looking forward to that as well. Curious as to recommendations of anything special to do outside of normal admission?

NTP66
04/03/2015, 04:16 AM
Straying a little, but did anyone go to the Wakkiki aquarium? Looking forward to that as well. Curious as to recommendations of anything special to do outside of normal admission?

We did, and were a little disappointed. It's incredibly small, though they did have some gorgeous triggers on exhibit. The peppermint is kinda cool if you're into Angels. The zoo was more fun.

Deinonych
04/03/2015, 11:52 PM
One thing I'll say about Oahu is that, while it's still an incredible island, don't expect it to be like Maui. Maui has a charm all to its own, IMO.

+1

Not a big fan of Oahu. Love Maui, Big Island and Kaua'i (in no particular order, each has its own individual charm). Waikiki/Honolulu is fun in small doses, but I'd rather spend my time (and money) on the other islands.

Deinonych
04/03/2015, 11:57 PM
Suggestions of where to stay? Will probably only want to stay in the city for a day or two.

Thinking the North Shore, haven't really put much thought into it...

We've stayed at both the Waikiki Parc and the Aqua Lotus Diamond Head. Both are nice boutique hotels. The Parc is in the heart of Waikiki, and the Lotus is closer to Diamond Head, a few doors down from the Waikiki Aquarium.

kkittredge
04/04/2015, 08:38 AM
We did, and were a little disappointed. It's incredibly small, though they did have some gorgeous triggers on exhibit. The peppermint is kinda cool if you're into Angels. The zoo was more fun.

Thanks. If they just have the tank with the peppermint it will be worth it to me. I had heard it was on the small side. Would be cool if you could do a behind the scenes tour.

NTP66
04/15/2015, 11:29 AM
Thanks. If they just have the tank with the peppermint it will be worth it to me. I had heard it was on the small side. Would be cool if you could do a behind the scenes tour.

The Peppermint is still there. :)

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7426/12910005493_5ae9cf53db_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/kEP9RB)

They actually have glass panels showing you the equipment that runs the tank the Peppermint is in, which is pretty cool. I've seen other aquariums start doing this recently, too, which I'm happy about. The behind the scenes stuff is sometimes more interesting than the actual exhibit (as was the case at a recent trip to a zoo in Texas).

AZRippster
04/16/2015, 01:02 PM
I was just at the Waikiki Aquarium. Not super big, but they do have some nice stuff. I did a little thread with some photos:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2492603

Not a big fan of Oahu, I have to go there for work. The diving is very disappointing. The Big Island however has some nice diving, especially around Puako. There is a reason Hawaiian fish collection regulators/regulation is targeting the Big Island, it's where it's at. The most recent Coral Magazine has a good spread on it, and through deductive reasoning, identifies what island to dive in Hawaii.

Scubareefman
04/17/2015, 06:11 PM
I have hundreds of dives logged in the Hawaiian waters :D IMO take a chatter out to dive site known as Cathedrals. posting from my last dive there. sorry for the picture spam. Also if you have never dove Hawaiian waters before just make sure to understand that most life camo's itself extremely well and the reef is volcanic so its reds, blacks, yellows, and greys not white like other locations around the world. A lot of folks expect bright whites with tons of bright colors but Hawaii is the opposite in that everything is very good at not letting you see it for the most part...so keep your eyes open and bring a good LED light day and night! :D
Hawaiian day Octo
http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/977805_182882301870231_1386694165_o_zpsiqlfwi4p.jpg (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/Tom_Manes/media/977805_182882301870231_1386694165_o_zpsiqlfwi4p.jpg.html)
open reef
http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/615421_120784691413326_529273627_o_zpsz8imnqak.jpg (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/Tom_Manes/media/615421_120784691413326_529273627_o_zpsz8imnqak.jpg.html)
http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/Tom_Manes/media/981664_182882648536863_1521399159_o_zpswudku26w.jpg.html
Eel checking me out.
http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/977745_186410474850747_1965440959_o_zpsfxkaumoz.jpg (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/Tom_Manes/media/977745_186410474850747_1965440959_o_zpsfxkaumoz.jpg.html)
me checking the eel out
http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/267162_200485490109912_1120974037_o_zpsii8k4gqm.jpg (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/Tom_Manes/media/267162_200485490109912_1120974037_o_zpsii8k4gqm.jpg.html)
Jack
http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/1015628_189897217835406_721111799_o_zpsw3m6pcjw.jpg (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/Tom_Manes/media/1015628_189897217835406_721111799_o_zpsw3m6pcjw.jpg.html)

tons of other shots I would post but......yep

Cheers

Tom

Scubareefman
04/18/2015, 12:25 PM
[QUOTE=AZRippster;23676611]

Not a big fan of Oahu, I have to go there for work. The diving is very disappointing. The Big Island however has some nice diving, especially around Puako.QUOTE]

Scubareefman
04/18/2015, 01:10 PM
If you name a beach or dive site I can provide video of dives on the location.
Oahu is split into two very distinct sides; local area/ tourist zones. Almost all dive companies will attempt to not bring you to where the locals live and play. Hire a local dive instructor, I can give some great references if needed.

Oahu is a island full of great dive locations. Unfortunately for most travelers they are on the island during the wrong part of the year. Summer in Hawaii is the dive season, flat clear blue waters, anything starting after august the waters get a bit messy, Sept-Feb you really need a boat to do a good dive unless your a hardcore and don't mind beach entry in big surf 5-10 foot waves a lot bigger on some northshore beaches.

Diving in the summer, some great spots to hit that you will not find listed on any dive shop and are great beach entry 2 tank dives.
top three of my list
Makapu'u is amazing.
For Novice divers the 20ish deep lagoon/beach area is amazing. For advanced divers willing to do a 15 minute surface swim out to rabbit island its freaking wonderland. Giant 50 foot aquascape's arching out to open waters, jagged volcanic teeth jutting up from the 50ish foot bottom covered in the local corals. schooling Jacks, many reef sharks, goat fish like mad, and of course the Hawaiian parrot fish every where. If this dive is done in the winter months you need two tanks! You also need to be advanced swimmers! and most importantly you need to used to sharks and whales.

Alan Davis beach off south side
Again this will not be listed by any diver company.
It requires you be able to walk in gear and tank at least a foot ball pitch before and after the dive.
Its a single or two tank summer dive.
It is truly amazing during flat waters and can be snorkeled safely if your a good swimmer.
You will be in no more the 30 feet of water just about the full dive, entry is about 3 feet with a 20 foot swim out, then hang a hard left and follow the sheer cliff that arches up to the light house several hundred feet up.
Its full of reef sharks, tangs schooling, parrot fish, and all the wonders found in Hawaiian waters. I ran into my first pod of spinner dolphins here and they are almost always hanging around checking the very few folks out. A word of warning if you want a lot of other divers in the water with you, this is not your spot. On most days you will be the only souls in the water within eye shot. surfacing will let you see the lighthouse to your back and the other islands out to sea.

Pray for sex beach.
Warning, this is a extremely advanced dive summer only dive.
North west Kaena point side, deep in the local living area.
The beaches are pristine, the swimming is amazing, and local customs should be followed at all times.
The dive can only be described as prehistoric. Giant school fish, big sharks, whales, coral heads, deep chasms rolling from 10 feet to 100, bright white sand and complex coral heads lining the maze of rock work. This can be as many tanks as you can dive as is runs more then a mile north to south and has great beaches on both sides.
Never dive this alone, never dive this tired, and never ever dive this sight in the winter months.

I can list out the best winter dive sights, and more importantly the best guides to use on any island. I will say to avoid the companies that hype the Eco-friendly side of diving. In Hawaii that's just a sale ploy, you will end up on a crappy boat maxed out with many other divers with a bottle of water and a ham sandwich in a plastic bag....not eco at all, just cheap.

Later tonight I'll post big island dive sights not to be missed, along with the best spots to get some snorkeling in. It is the best island for water sports.

Basic keys to getting the best treatment in Hawaii.
Always greet with a Houzit (how-zit) not hello or nice to meet you. just How-zit, when you get comfortable a bra at the end "How-zit bra." and toss a short shaka up instead of a handshake. don't twist it, just raise your hand about hip high holding your thumb and pinky out just a bit with a fist made fingers down. casual like friends shaking hands after golf.
If someone is speaking pigeon to you its a good thing, don't correct them. Just go with the flow and speak your mind, Hawaiians are very up-front and honest and once they see that your not easy money or "haole" (off islander, not native, not local, easy money, random white guy, sucker, not one of us) and have been on the island before the prices will drop...a lot and your aloha really starts to shine, trust me its a good thing.
The shaka is a real thing, when driving be very nice. Let others out, show the shaka when they do the same to you just wave it up at the rear view mirror and smile. remember its a very small island.
It is true they call all there friends cousin, uncle, auntie...because its a small population, and they are in fact....all related. So if they refer to u as one of these go with it, it shows they are cool with you.
Never let a taxi take you for the scenic tour lol, ever. your talking a $400 cab ride and most of what you will see is Waikiki traffic. Never buy a lady a drink that she gets form the bar. You go get it and pay for it, no tab drinks for her. Always be clear with the bar tender about what she is getting and the price. Don't do this and you maybe end up with a easy grand bar bill.
Keep your drinks covered up or in your hand. Stay with your lady, and never leave your drinks around strangers. Its common for haoles to get drugged while out drinking. Not for rape or abduction but to juice you for much more money. You will have one hell of a great night but will feel like a donkeys butt hole for the next two days. Not to mention the small fortune you drop in the bars.

Be nice to U.S soldiers, sailors and marines. Hawaiians are super patriotic, on a whole other level then mainland U.S. They still remember pearl harbor and will rally around any service member that someone is being rude to. To the existent of tossing you out of hotels, bars, planes, boats, cars.... but if you smile then buy that guy or gal a drink, your on track to a great night, or simply say great job, and toss a shaka, same same.



Cheers,

AZRippster
04/20/2015, 10:10 AM
Scubareefman,

Thanks for the great info. Yeah, I was very disappointed in my dives on Oahu, but it sounds like that's par for the course unless you know where to go. When I'm there, I'm the only guy in the group that dives, so chartering a boat is not in my cards. I love to shore dive, but petty theft is awful on Oahu. I know that for a fact. Even one of the guys I meet with for work when I'm there confirms this and he's a native. Leaving a car unattended makes me nervous.

If you can make some recommendations for a single diver visiting from time to time, that would be great. I'll save your previous recommendations as well.

I really enjoyed Hawai'i, the Big Island, and especially off of Puako. I've also dove with Blue Wilderness out of Waikiloa and they were great. Any other recommendations I can store away for my next trip to the Big Island would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Again!

Scubareefman
04/21/2015, 01:33 AM
Yep, I agree about leaving a rental car on a random beach. Its not good. If you can rent what they call a local car, from Hawaii rentz or any other mom and pop you stand a much better chance of not getting broken into. 10 years on island and I never had a problem, but I also was local with all the junk on the car so they don't rob it, stickers and what nots.

Avoid
Deep Ecology
Dive Oahu
Wiki Divers

I highly recommend
Tyler Silber's Oahu Scuba I did dive master,
and most of my master scuba diver with him. all great prices, and best of all he knows all the boat Cptns and gets solo dive deals that are great all day dives at great rates. Most of the time it will be just you, never more then two other divers so the surface time is chill and the dive times are really on your air consumption not a novice diver in your group.

Jed hag Diving out of Aloha Scuba
The dive shop is a bit run down, but the guys and gals are awesome and keep the vibe mellow and laid back. Long no rush dive days and never to a spot that's poor vis for the day. They take pride in getting you to a spot that makes you want to come back, that incudes making sure the beach or surf is not rainy or murky. Always a bonus to dive with folks that care if you have a good time. Best part is they don't really ever dive the pipes unless the whole island is murky. The pipes are a crap dive unless that's all that's available. They also do a free night dive every Sat, just call and ask for the beach. You do however have to pay for the air at the beach, 3 bucks for a Alum 80 and you can ask for steel 120's if you prefer.

I highly suggest a night dive anywhere on the second reef by boat, or east or north side shore in the summer months. The waters are alive at night and that exploring feeling can turn a boring beach dive into a OMG that was a fun night in the waters.
Three tables and fire house are world class night dives, sharks cove is good but can be dangerous if you get into the massive and complex caves or get bold at night and try to go to the moon room or elevator. Both of those are great summer dives, you will see massive sun coral crops along the roofs and inside the caves, very cool for a reefer. most divers never even look up or bring a light. Black coral is abundant on the inside faces of the caves as well. and the sea turtles well pop out of nowhere and scare the crap out of you.


on muai
Dive Maui and Maui scuba are both really classy company's. Dm runs its own boat from what I remember and does day trips to lanai as well as sunset and moonlight dives. The moonlight ray dive is a lot of fun if your into rays. big suckers and so many they cloud the waters.

Big island is a whole other matter. I will post its own list later.

If you can get to Midway go, its vary rare to be able to go but no where in the world compares. Not many people know midway is a pair of Hawaiian islands. Also Xmas Island and Johnson's Atoll. Epic life changing dives. Pure healthy reefs with millions of fish and corals, its one of the times words can not describe. The boat ride out is silent as the divers just reflect in awe.

Cheer,
tom

AZRippster
04/21/2015, 08:02 AM
Scubareefman,

Yeah, that's the info I'm looking for but I'm still holding out for the Big Island. My family and I loved it and I would sooooo like to retire there. It's still an island, not a floating city, and the diving we did was pretty darn good and the pace was wonderful.

We're headed to Mexico in July for some diving and then the Florida Keys in November, but very soon we'll either be back on the Big Island or down in Roatan. I'm looking forward to hitting the Big Island someday with your info in hand.

Thanks,

AZRipp

ScuderiaTech
04/28/2015, 09:34 AM
Did you see any mantas? Maui is well known for them!

Scubareefman
05/05/2015, 09:07 PM
:fish2:
There are two main areas on the Big Island, Kona and Hilo.
Hilo is an old sugar town and has lots of small areas to get lost in for a day.
The divers I know who live in Hilo both are currently diving Palau so I'll cover it later.

Leeward Kona side on the other hand...amazing. Here are my top three dives.

1. City of refuge. A summer dive of a lifetime. City of refuge is a fish and coral sanctuary. The entry is off rocks into 20 feet of water. The current is stiff and cross direction to the low rock faces and very minimal sand beaches. Palms hang over the lagoons with bright blue water. the sub structure is rolling lava rock and jagged black jetty's carved by the stiff currents. Schools of reef fish cloud the walls and predator fish are not shy and are common. Blue water fish frequent this dive sight early mornings and night. The reef is healthy so sharks will be seen so be calm.
A few shots from city of refuge.
http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/PICT0016_zpsvzwonqhu.jpg (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/Tom_Manes/media/PICT0016_zpsvzwonqhu.jpg.html)
http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/PICT0019_edited-1_zps0i3zg4rl.jpg (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/Tom_Manes/media/PICT0019_edited-1_zps0i3zg4rl.jpg.html)
Ill post a video of this spot later this week, the only pictures I have are form my old free dive company and don't show the deeper parts.
also I will write the next post tomorrow night for my #2 South Point the cleanest bluest water I have ever been in. And the views, holy crap the views.
http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/2010%2003%2020_0019_edited-2_zpsjxmwykwi.jpg (http://s1299.photobucket.com/user/Tom_Manes/media/2010%2003%2020_0019_edited-2_zpsjxmwykwi.jpg.html)
video of the south point cliffs during my free dive days, sorry about my hand and the wind, skip to 17 sec's in. I was filming a intro for my old website
http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/th_GOPR0411_zpsbxtyudmm.mp4 (http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag62/Tom_Manes/GOPR0411_zpsbxtyudmm.mp4)
My single favorite dive company
Kona Diving company 808-331-1858 is world class. The service is excellent, the dives are never rushed. The Dive Masters are professional and help to maximize the dive sights for first time seers and set back and relax when with seasoned divers. The rental equipment is never the cheap stuff, always top of the line, and clean. They offer year round dives as well as individual dives for solo travelers.

tkeracer619
05/07/2015, 04:01 PM
My single favorite dive company
Kona Diving company 808-331-1858 is world class. The service is excellent, the dives are never rushed. The Dive Masters are professional and help to maximize the dive sights for first time seers and set back and relax when with seasoned divers. The rental equipment is never the cheap stuff, always top of the line, and clean. They offer year round dives as well as individual dives for solo travelers.

+1 Great outfit.

timshaw
05/16/2015, 05:39 AM
We've stayed at both the Waikiki Parc and the Aqua Lotus Diamond Head. Both are nice boutique hotels. The Parc is in the heart of Waikiki, and the Lotus is closer to Diamond Head, a few doors down from the Waikiki Aquarium.

Here it is

http://s30.postimg.org/4r20esqep/lotus.png

A: Hotel Waikiki Parc
B: lotus diamond head

http://www.distancemonk.com/2233+Helumoa+Rd/2885+Kalakaua+Ave/13+mins/4.786/

not quite far (3 miles) from each other and very close to beach.