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West Maui Dive Sites




at Mokule`ia Bay

There are 2 ways to dive Mokule`ia. One is from the East side of the bay which gives the diver easier access to the West point of Honolua bay. This dive is something like a mini wall dive. The hard corals at Mokule`ia and Honolua bays are some of the healthiest on Maui due in part to the protection from rough seas by the horizontal depth of the bay and, no doubt, to their status as marine-life sanctuaries since 1978. There is a higher likelihood of a dolphin encounter here than just about any where on the Island other than La Perouse Bay, which has been made all but inaccessible by the County Government. To dive the East side of the Bay, there is a semi-treacherous trail covered in slippery pine needles starting at the East end of the chain link fence along the road side parking area. At the bottom of the trail there is an outcropping running North into the bay. Make your stride entry near the end.

Make this dive with the sand to your right on the way out and left on the way back. Lots of crevasses offer hiding places to tons of turtles. Hawaiian sea turtles are on the protected species list, so DO NOT TOUCH. The sand harbors lots of Kona Crabs, but you can't catch them here. This is a good dive any time the winds are light and the North swell is small to nothing. These conditions are most often found in Summer but I've been there in winter for some of the best dives of the season. Nearest facilities are a short drive southeast at D.T. Fleming beach park. The Honokohau and Honolua ahupua`a Hawaiian land division was acquired by Henry Perrine Baldwin in 1889 (Son of Dr. Dwight Baldwin 4th Missionary Company). There he established the Honolua Cattle Ranch. One assumes the name "Slaughterhouse" at Mokule`ia Bay was acquired at that time. Others believe it to have been coined by Surfers who are also accredited for the names like "Windmills", "S Turns " (west side), "Jaws" and "Pipe Line" on the North shore. Under the direction of ranch Manager David T. Fleming, land use was switched from raising cattle to pineapple in 1924, and in 1978 the Honolua and Mokule`ia Bays were declared marine-life sanctuaries meaning no fish feeding and nothing may be taken from the bay as a souvenir alive or dead. So, take only pictures, leave only bubbles.



"Kapalua Bay"

Kapalua Bay is a good beginners dive site located on Maui's north west shore. Turn onto Kapalua Bay dr. off lower Honoapiilani rd. and the go to beach access parking. Gear up in the parking lot and take the tunnel in front of the public rest rooms to the beach.

Enter the water on the left side of the beach and surface swim to right side to begin your dive.
You'll find good reef out side the bay. The turtles are usually found as you exit the bay. This isn't a particularly outstanding dive site other than being diveable when much of the rest of the upper west side is not. There are the usual variety of reef fish and turtles. Octopus are easy to spot inside the bay due to the lack of colorful coral. There is a little shallow coral for snorkelers. This and the protection afforded by the shallows at the mouth of the bay make this a pretty good snorkeling spot especially for beginners.


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