My best friend and I went on the Kanaio Coast tour and Molokini snorkeling trip in January. It was the highlight of our trip. Even my friend, who lives on the Big Island, said it was the best snorkeling she's ever seen. Brad and TJ were so welcoming, fun and knowledgeable. I really enjoyed learning about the history of the island with regards to Haleakala's various flows. Brad knew a lot about the various lava formations, like how temperature and other conditions during cooling determine the type of rock which is formed. And, he knew what almost every rock/cliff looked like ie: Fred Flintstone, Shrek! Brad said day we went was exceptionally calm, so we got to go at least a mile farther down the coast than they usually get to go. It was really fun.
Molokini was just the most amazing thing. The crater was outstanding snorkeling and fish-seeing. There are so many, in fact, that they don't bother to get out of your way when you swim up! The crater itself is beautiful, too. The backside, however, is where it's at! The water is so deep I was nervous to get in being that deep water is one of my few big fears. But, it's such a beautiful blue water with rolling swells...it's too good to miss. In fact, I ended up being the last one back on the boat...I didn't even know we were leaving! The fish on that side are much bigger, too! It is just an other-worldly experience. It was so very special to be able to go to these places, but, especially with my best friend of 16 years, on an already special trip and with an incredibly knowledgeable and truly fun crew as Brad and TJ. The photo of my friend and I as the boat was leaving to head back to Kihei is probably my favorite pic of us ever. I think I've told everyone I know about this day since I've come home.
As far as I understand, Blue Water is one of the only companies that takes snorkelers to the backside. They also go farther down the Kanaio Coast than most. So, when you go with them, you are seeing a rare and special side of a place that's already extremely rare and special. It's a very unique and transformative experience. To make it even better, it was the height of whale season. We must have stopped 6-7 times en route in order to watch whales and or spinner dolphins come right up to the boat. I stuck my underwater camera over the edge of the boat and got some really cool close-up shots of dolphins swimming along side of us and a Humpback whale surfacing then diving back down. It was just a magical day. Next time I'm on Maui, I will be going out with Blue Water again. Definitely take some dramamine. I don't usually get sick very easily, but, we were out for a long time. The floating in one spot parts started to make me a little queasy.