Having been an active diver in Maui, since 1986, I’ve dived around as much of the island as possible. Maui is fortunate to have a lot of great shore dives as well as boat dives. There are also locations like Maliko Gulch, Nakalele Point, Honolua Bay that can be dived from shore but, require a long walk, climb down a cliff with ropes, rocky entry, or long swims.
One site which I call Long Walk is off the Ritz. It gets its name because to get to the water you have walk at least a half mile. You park by the church in the public lot and gear up. Then walk the perimeter of the golf course to the lava flow. The topography changes into uneven ground turns into an old lava flow. Just about at the end of the point there is a crevice in the rocks along the right side. This is the entry point. We would time the incoming waves and jump 10 feet into the water.
Underwater, we would head northwest along the lava low. There were coral heads and chunks of lava along the bottom. When we reached a depth of 50 feet we turned around, but headed more to the south so we could get out on the south side of the lava flow. The exit was basically a few flat rocks, that led to a climb up a 6 -8 foot lava formation. In my 20’s it was no big deal and just part of the adventure.
In my thirties, I shifted from shore dives for fun, to working on dive boats that went to Molokini, Olowalu, Makena , and La Peruse Bay. On my days off, I went out with North Shore Explorers. This was the only company that went to dive sites along the islands north shore, as well as Kahakaloa, and Molokai. Sadly, the business is not open anymore.
In my Forties, I shifted from leading dives to leading photography trips. I specialized in Indonesia and Fiji for colorful coral reefs, and developed a passion for whales which took me to the Amore, Dominica, and Tonga.
In my fifties, I still lead photography tours and enjoy a lot of local shore shore diving. I select sites that allow easy access to the water as most times I have a housed DSLR system. These locations include Makena landing, Ulua Beach, Black Rock, White Rock, and Wailea Beach. Other locations like 5-caves, La Peruse Bay, Ahihi bay, and Mala Wharf are great dive sites but feature rocky and often slippery entry and exits. When I go to these sites I wear booties and open foot fins rather than full foot fins, and have no problems.