Your bags are packed, your tickets are booked, and you’re ready for the best tropical Thanksgiving ever on beautiful Maui! But how do you avoid (unwanted) surprises during travel and where should you book your all-important Turkey Day feast? Keep reading for our 8 best Maui Thanksgiving travel (and activity) tips!
The dates are set, vacation time granted, tickets purchased and as the days get crossed off the calendar the dream is becoming a reality: You are going to Hawaii! Just when you thought all the hard work of saving and coordinating was coming to a close the most mysterious of all tasks rears its ugly head. You need to pack.
A voyage to Molokaʻi is extremely rare due to wind and wave conditions in the channel between the two islands. Every now and then, however, perhaps once a year, the wind and waves settle down enough to make the trek. Right away it was easy to see how this was a mini Molokini; crescent in shape, but teeming with marine life.
Imagine this: you are on a once in a lifetime dream trip to Maui, Hawai’i, home of world famous beaches, surfing, and all of the whales, sea turtles and coral reef denizens that your little heart could desire, but there’s one problem: you’ve never been swimming in the ocean.
Having sailed the waters of Maui and Lana'i since 1973, Trilogy feels blessed and very fortunate to call these islands our home. We also feel a responsibility to protect and care for these oceans, and this includes the various marine creatures who share the waters with our boats.
Given our commitment to local marine life, Trilogy is proud to be a member of the Dolphin SMART program which is administered by the National Marine Sanctuary. Trilogy is the first member of the Maui charter boat community to follow the Dolphin SMART guidelines, and photos which you find on our website and social media channels adhere to the following conditions:
- This photo(video) was taken while viewing from a responsible distance. The (dolphin(s), whale(s)) in this photo(video) approached the boat while the engines were in neutral or off.
- We view wild dolphins and whales from a responsible distance to avoid any harassment or disturbance to their natural behaviors. Our photos (videos) that show dolphins and whales near the boat were taken after they approached the boat with the engines in neutral or off.
- Dolphins are often seen riding the bows of the vessels. Any photo depicting dolphins off the bow of the boat was taken when the dolphins approached our vessel to bowride, and the behavior was not elicited by the vessel’s actions.
Mahalo again for your interest in our environment, and feel free to contact us by leaving a comment below.
There are few greater experiences in all of Hawaii than snorkeling with sea turtles in Maui. The graceful movements of these underwater giants can seem to make time stand still, and it's a curious combination of relaxation and excitement whenever you see one in the water.
Commonly known by their Hawaiian name of honu, Hawaiian green sea turtles are a familiar sight along many of Maui's shorelines. Oftentimes, snorkelers and divers will encounter green sea turtles while snorkeling directly from shore, and we will frequently find turtles on our snorkeling tours from Ka'anapali as well as Ma'alaea.
We also answer a lot of questions about turtles, so the following is a guide to some of the most frequently asked questions about snorkeling with sea turtles in Maui.
Where Can I Swim With Sea Turtles?
On the West Side of Maui, some of the best places for snorkeling with sea turtles include Honolua Bay, Mokulei’a Bay, Pu’u Keka’a (Black Rock), Napili Bay, Mala Wharf, and Olowalu. On the South Side of Maui, places such as Wailea Point, Nahuna, and Maluaka Beach all offer a high likelihood of encountering Hawaiian green sea turtles. For more information on what seasons are best for snorkeling, check out our article on Understanding Maui’s Wind, Weather, and Waves. On Lana’i, while sea turtles are occasionally encountered in Hulopo’e Bay, they aren’t seen with the same frequency as along the shoreline of Maui.
*Note: Despite the clear water and world-class snorkeling conditions, Molokini Crater is not a place to find sea turtles. This is why our snorkeling tours to Molokini often visit a second spot where there is a much higher likelihood of snorkeling with sea turtles.
Can I Touch The Turtles?
No. Hawaiian green sea turtles are federally protected and it's illegal and harmful to touch or harass them. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to give turtles plenty of space and make an effort to not overcrowd them. Occasionally snorkelers will get really lucky and will get a close encounter or "fly-by", but even if a turtle swims directly towards you it's important to stay out of their way. The Department of Land and Natural Resources recommends "keeping a 6- to 10-foot buffer as a best practice for sea turtle viewing." They go on to say, "In Hawai‘i, sea turtles are protected by the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (Chapter 195D) and Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (13-124). Although federal and state wildlife conservation laws differ in some respects, all prohibit actions that can harm, injure, kill, or otherwise disturb sea turtles without a permit. Feeding or touching turtles in any way is considered a disturbance and therefore illegal."
Do We Need To Give Them Room To Breathe?
Yes. Turtles are air breathing reptiles which every so often need to surface and breathe. If a turtle has a pack of 25 snorkelers above it, the distressed turtle can go into a panic and drown before it reaches the surface. Please help protect our island turtles by allowing them space to breathe. Above is a video of a baby turtle coming to the surface to breathe.
Are Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles Endangered?
While not officially classified as an "endangered species", Hawaiian green sea turtles are listed as "threatened" under the federal Endangered Species Act. After mass harvesting as a source of food depleted the population of turtles, the turtles were granted with federal protection in 1978. Even though the population of turtles has grown, it will be a long, slow process until the species thrives in the way it used toDespite being protected, sea turtles won't lay eggs until they are 25 or 30 years old, and when the eggs finally hatch, the turtles are immediately vulnerable to numerous threats such as rodents, starvation, waves, and sharks. Of all the eggs which are laid in a clutch, it's estimated that only 1 in 1,000 will mature completely to adulthood.
How Long Can A Turtle Hold Its Breath?
If you're snorkeling with a sea turtle and it disappears into a cave, you should probably move along and try to find another one. Resting sea turtles can hold their breath for well over a couple of hours, although a stressed sea turtle which is entangled or crowded can blow through its oxygen in minutes.
How Fast Can A Turtle Swim?
While turtles often spend much of their time sitting completely still on the bottom, they can swim at speeds of up to 25 mph over short periods of time.
How Long Do Turtles Live?
Much like humans, turtles have life spans which can vary greatly between 30 and 80 years old.
How Much Do They Weigh?
The average weight of a Hawaiian green sea turtle is about 350 pounds, although some of the largest adults can grow to sizes which stretch upwards of 500 pounds!
Will A Turtle Eat Me While I'm Snorkeling?
No! Hawaiian green sea turtles feed on limu (seaweed) which collects on rocks by the shore. Above is a clip of a Hawaiian green sea turtle feeding on limu in Maui.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Why Did It Look Like There Was A Tumor On Its Face?
In recent years, Hawaiian green sea turtles have begun to develop a disease known as fibropapilloma. Much like a wart which grows on humans, the tumor-like growth is spread through a virus which affects green sea turtles in the wild. Although the growth isn't harmful in itself, it can restrict the ability to perform basic functions such as eating, breathing, and maneuvering. Despite the increase in overall numbers, the fibropapilloma virus is yet another threat which has scientists concerned about the long-term health of one of Hawaii's most popular species.
What Do You Call The Very First Moment You Swim With A Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle?
A ho-nu experience! (Sorry, we had to...)
Do you have any more questions about Hawaiian green sea turtles which weren't covered in the questions above? Leave us a note in the comments below we'll get back to you with the answer you're looking for. If you want to swim with green sea turtles on your next vacation to Maui, check out some of our Maui snorkeling tours where our trained crew will help you find a wild Hawaiian honu.
SNUBA is a safe and fun activity! There are however certain requirements in order to be eligible to participate in this activity. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions below, you may need a physician's note in order to SNUBA. All participants will also be required to fill out the SNUBA release form before participating in this activity.
- Are you pregnant or do you believe you might be pregnant?
- Do you have a history of heart attacks, strokes or heart disease?
- Have you ever had heart surgery, angina or blood vessel surgery?
- Do you have asthma and are currently using an inhaler, or have a history of emphysema or tuberculosis?
- Are you currently under the influence of mind-altering drugs or alcohol?
- Do you have any form of lung disease?
- Do you have epilepsy, seizures or convulsions or take medications to prevent them?
- Are you actively taking medication that carries a warning about any impairment of your physical or mental behavior?
- Do you have a history of blackouts or fainting?
- Do you currently have a head cold (congestion), sinusitis or bronchitis?
- Do you have a history of diabetes affecting your ability to participate in a strenuous activity?
- Do you have a history of asthma or wheezing with breathing or exercise?
- Have you ever had a diving accident or decompression sickness?
- Do you have high blood pressure or take medicine to control it?
- Do you have a history of bleeding or blood disorders?
- Do you have a history of ear or sinus surgery?
- Do you have a history of ear disease, hearing loss or problems with balance?
- Do you have problems equalizing (clearing) ears with airplane or mountain travel?
Every diver, from a complete beginner to a master diver, remembers the first breath they took underwater. If you've always wanted to experience the underwater world, SNUBA is one of the easiest and safest ways to experience what it's like to breathe underwater. Many travelers to Maui have heard of SNUBA at one point or another, but there are often questions which accompany the activity. While your professional Trilogy SNUBA guide can answer specific, individual questions on the day of your tour, here are some of the most frequently asked questions for those who are thinking about SNUBA diving in Maui,
What is the minimum age for SNUBA? 8 years old.
Can I visit fly in an airplane, take a helicopter tour, or visit Haleakala after a SNUBA dive? Yes. Unlike a scuba dive where there's a risk of decompression sickness if you go to altitude after a dive, SNUBA depths are shallow enough that the risk of DCS is minimal. Trilogy suggests a wait period of 4 hours before flying, going in a helicopter, or driving to Haleakala after a SNUBA dive.
What is the maximum depth in SNUBA? The maximum depth in SNUBA is 10 feet
What do I wear when SNUBA diving? During a SNUBA dive, you will wear mask, and fins as you normally would when snorkeling. You are also equipped with a lightweight harness which connects to a regulator, and a weight belt which is heavy enough to help you swim underwater, but not so heavy that you can't swim to the surface.
Are there medical requirements for SNUBA? Yes. Although the requirements for SNUBA are much more lenient than scuba diving, there are still a number of medical requirements which need to be met before you can take place in a SNUBA dive.
What does SNUBA stand for? SNUBA is an acronym that stands for Surface Nexus Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
How long does a SNUBA dive last? The length of a SNUBA dive will be different for every person, but on average, dives last 20-25 minutes. The more relaxed you are and the slower you breathe, the longer your dive will end up lasting.
Do I wear a tank on my back? No. The the scuba tank rests inside of the SNUBA raft to which you're tethered, and as you swim, the raft follows you above on the surface.
Am I allowed to go to the surface if I need? Yes, although for the best dive experience it's recommended to stay underwater for the duration of the dive. Should you feel the need to come to the surface, whether it's to clear your mask of water, grab a second camera, or simply to take a short rest, as long as you don't hold your breath and ascend no faster than your own bubbles, you should be able to surface safely and easily. Also, when taking time at the surface, it's easiest if you hold on to the side of the raft so that you don't need to tread water with a weight belt on.
If I've never snorkeled before, can I SNUBA? Technically, yes, although without having snorkeled at least once before there's no guarantee of how comfortable you will be. There are plenty of people who successfully SNUBA dive without having snorkeled before, but there are also others who are uncomfortable with the feeling of needing to breathe through their mouth. As a test, pinch your nose and breathe through your mouth for a whole minute. If you can do this comfortably, it's the first step in determining if you can SNUBA. Ultimately, however, the choice is up to you, and since our Molokini snorkeling tour makes two separate snorkeling stops, perhaps consider snorkeling at the first stop and opting for SNUBA once you've gotten comfortable.
Does Trilogy only offer SNUBA on the Molokini Tour? Trilogy offers SNUBA diving on many different tours, including our Ka'anapali Snorkeling Tour, Molokini Snorkeling Tour, and Discover Lana'i snorkeling tour. With an advance booking, SNUBA can also be available on our Lahaina Picnic Snorkel and Sail.
Do you have more questions about SNUBA? Send us a message on our Facebook page and we'll be happy to answer your questions.