By Mark Ferguson – (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
We are concerned about any potential dangers while snorkeling on Maui, such as sharks, urchins, poisonous fish, or invertebrates, etc. Are you aware of any? My wife and I will be in south Maui (Makena Resort) for two weeks in February and we were intending to snorkel everyday.
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Galen & Nicole – Oct 1, 2012 – The Sea Is the Main Danger
Mark, what you need to pay the most attention to when snorkeling in Maui are the sea conditions. Currents, waves, rocks, those are the things that pose the greatest risk to a snorkeler.
Make sure and read our page about reading ocean conditions.
Now as far as creatures, there is very little to be concerned about. While we can’t say that you won’t encounter a shark, your chances of it being dangerous are very low. Consider it a privilege to see one. You are not in their food chain. In all the time snorkeling all the islands of Hawaii, we have only seen a couple sharks, on the Big Island; they were little White-tip Reef Sharks. If you are concerned about sharks, read Hawaii’s shark safety tips.
Urchins are a small concern, if you are entering the water over rocks. If that is the case you want to make sure and wear foot protection, and be careful where you place your hands.
As for fish, and other creatures nothing is likely to attack you. And if you stick to the snorkeling rule of not touching anything, you will be fine. For sure you if try and grab some fish, or put your hand down on one (nearly impossible, because they will move), you could get hurt by a spine.
Really it is the damage that snorkelers can do to the sea life that is the issue. Please read our page about snorkeling etiquette to get a sense of how to care for sea life when snorkeling.
Have a great time in Maui!
Pat – Oct 1, 2012 – Steep Beaches
The steeper the slope of the beach, the more you want to watch for waves that can roll you – and Makena tends to have some steep beaches.
I would add, do not pick up cone shells. They are pretty to look at, but dangerous. I found several live textile cone shell fragments in Hawaii this year. I am guessing the shells were the remains of the lunch of an octopus. Cone shells are dangerous to pick up as they can be venomous.
So long as we “Look But Don’t Touch” we can enjoy the beauty of the underwater world to our heart’s content.
Oooh, I cannot wait for our next Hawaiian snorkel trip. I wonder where we’ll go this time?
Bill Balvanz – Oct 1, 2012 – Potential Dangers While Snorkeling on Maui
Many years ago I spent a week snorkeling on Maui. The one thing I was repeatedly warned about was not to leave any valuables in my car, locked or not, in the trunk or not, while I was at the beach.
Galen & Nicole – Nov 23, 2012 – Bill Has a Good Point…
Yes, Bill. Theft from parked cars is an issue in a lot of places. We don’t leave any valuables in the car and take our keys and those valuables with us in a waterproof bag or box. Thanks for pointing out that “danger.”