Maui Snorkeling

Aloha,

The Hawaiian islands attract many visitors who enjoy ocean activities like snorkeling and scuba diving.

When my children were growing up, we used to scuba dive on the Big Island. I really enjoyed the feeling of effortless floating, especially through and around the beautiful underwater arches.

Watching the giant Hawaiian Sea Turtles gracefully gliding through sunlit waters was always a highlight of the dive for me. The Honu ( Hawaiian word for turtle) can weigh up to 400lbs. Their big flippers enable them to cover great distance in the water.

The Honu is vegetarian, eating algae or limu ( Hawaiian for seaweed.) The female turtles go up on to the beaches and sand dunes to dig a large hole and lay her eggs. I remember camping and looking for the newborns to hatch at night. The turtles have enjoyed quite a comeback since the days they were hunted for food.

The wonderful pictures that I'm posting of the Green Sea Turtle were taken by my friend Mike Eliers. Mike and Susan are avid divers, and enjoy snorkeling as well. Mike has been taking some wild and fabulous underwater photos, check out the Parrot fish! I feel lucky to be able to post them.

Many options are available for snorkeling on Maui. Visitors can research diving or snorkeling adventures. There are several sites online where you can learn about raft trips, or catamaran trips, or dive boats. Of course, just a walk off the beach to a safe snorkel spot is also a big favorite. I often speak with my guests at breakfast about their options for daily snorkel trips.

You may even be lucky enough to see some of the playful spinner dolphins as well. Mike also took these amazing shots of the spinner dolphins that surrounded them while out on a very special snorkel trip.

The Maui Ocean Center is a great environment for observing reefs and all the beautiful fish who live there. There is also a Honu tank, for folks who won't be able to otherwise view these awesome creatures.

Hope to see you here in Maui during our mild winter. Lots of outdoor Maui activities this winter for all!

We finally got a little rain, and tonight the moonlight on the refreshed garden with the fragrance of night blooming Jasmine in the air, reminds me of why I love to live on Maui, no ka oi... Maui the best.

Aloha, a hui hou....
Cherie

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose dolphin playing with a leaf.

Aloha,

Today's post features the Bottlenose Dolphins that some friends recently encountered while out snorkeling.

These playful creatures are intelligent and known for their friendly dispostion and agility. In one of the photos, the dolphin is "catching" a floating leaf on it's fin, and also swimming with the leaf on its nose.Bottle-nose dolphin playing leaf--swimming with a leaf on its snout.

My friends were dropping the leaves for them to play with. They did not approach or follow this pod as people are not supposed to get close to the dolphins, as tempting as it may be.


They live in social groups called pods. A pod can vary in size, 5 to 100 dolphins in the group. Dolphins communicate through a complicated series of squeaks and whistles.A pod of bottlenosed dolphins near Maui Hawaii

The dolphins enjoy bow-swimming with boats, playing in the wake and waves. I have seen them many times racing around along side the boat and trying to keep in front of it as well. It's a wonderful site, these playful creatures diving and leaping along side the boat.

A bottlednose dolphin swimming near Maui Hawaii, photographed by snorkelersThe dolphins can swim up to 18 miles per hour. Their size is up to 10 feet in length and weight is approx. 1,100 #. The Bottlenose Dolphin's life span is 45-50 years.

They eat small fish and squid, and sometimes follow fishing boats looking for leftovers. The dolphin's greatest danger is getting entangled in fishing nets and gear, and boating traffic.

Bottle Nosed dolphins off Maui Hawaii photographed by snorkelersMany programs and organizations work tirelessly to protect these wonderful creatures. The Pacific Whale Foundation is one great organization that promotes awareness of the ocean's creatures through education.

Enjoy the photos, I sure did!

Aloha for now,
Cherie