I just have to take a moment to tell you about our awesome dive experience in Maui Feb 18 – March 2, 2007. My family and I are new to diving. My kids are 11 and 13 and while we’re all certified, this was our first major dive trip and we were pretty nervous. Our instructor in Winnipeg suggested we hire a dive master to accompany us on our first few dives, and wow, am I every glad I took that advice.
I had tried calling many of the larger dive shops in the area, and I don’t want to bash anyone, but I’ll say I was pretty put-off when I’d call long distance from Canada to Maui only for the staff member to tell me they were too busy to talk to me and could I call back later. Not good.
Thankfully I met Mark from Hawaii Divers (www.hawaiidivers.org) and he was fantastic for me and my family. The communication prior to our arrival was great. Mark assisted us in securing rental gear from Pacific Dive in Lahaina (another excellent establishment that I highly recommend, www.pacificdive.com) and got us an extremely good rate. Mark’s knowledge of the area was incredible. I’d asked Mark to arrange a shore dive and a boat dive for us. He picked Mala Ramp, a short drive from our condo, and the dive was amazing. We were able to drop off our gear literally 10 feet from the water’s edge and walk down a boat ramp that was protected from the waves for a simple, trouble free entry. Our boat dive was on the Pride of Maui where we dove Molokini and Turtle Town. My 11 year old daughter was thrilled with entire experience of diving with the turtles. Mark was incredibly patient was her in every facet from prep to tear down. I just can’t say enough good things about Mark and HawaiiDivers!! Thanks Mark.
After this awesome start, we ended up doing 5 more dives on our own. I have to say, it’s much nicer having someone local guide you than trying to figure it out on your own. That’s where I got additional benefits from both Mark, and from Arty and Piper from Pacific Dive. They gave excellent advice and details on good spots for us to dive, entry and exit points specific to the time of year that help use go with the current, and places to avoid. It was all information that just wasn’t published in any of the local dive magazines and books. So while were still dove on our own, it was sooo much easier knowing all the details in advance.
While I’m not an expert diver by any stretch, I’ve certainly done the research into diving in Maui when you’re going with a family. I’m happy to offer any specific details on the logistics if requested. Happy diving! Aloha. – Kelly (Winnipeg, Canada)