One of the common questions we Scuba Shops & Instructors here on Maui get asked lately is….

What is snuba diving?

Here are the nitty-gritty details about scuba diving versus Scuba Diving Maui. More GRITTY than you would think!!!!


Scuba Diving has been a recreational sport for many years now. It started off when former NAVY Divers started training scuba divers on the side, as a way to earn some extra money. The downside was they were getting trained the NAVY way. This was not at all a “bad” way. But… Recreational divers did not need to learn the “combat” style of scuba diving. As the years went by, more and more divers were getting certified through these fledgling organizations. As a result, Scuba Diving became more and more popular. Organizations that were involved in the training process, such as NAUI, SSI, SDI, TDI, YMCA (just to name a small few) joined the RSTC (Recreational Scuba Diving Council). This is a self governing organization that sets the standards for Safe Diving Practices. All of the training and safety guidelines set by the RSTC MUST be followed in order for the Dive Organizations to participate. This has turned scuba diving in to a much more safe and fun sport, designed for anyone that wanted to participate. Now the training is designed as a “FUN” way, not a “Combat” way to dive.

Scuba Diving Instructors must go through a long training process academically and physically.

A Scuba Instructor has the following certification levels as a prerequisite before starting the Instructor Development Course.

  1. 1.Open Water Diver
  2. 2.Advanced Open Water Diver
  3. 3.Rescue Diver
  4. 4.Divemaster
  5. 5.Assistant Instructor
  6. 6.Emergency First Responder Instructor
  7. 7.Then Open Water Scuba Instructor

Snuba Diving started in 1990

Scuba “Guides” are just that. They are “Guides”… Not Instructors!!! They have completed the rescue diver course but have not gone through all the dive theory and knowledge development that even a dive master has gone through.

Scuba divers; typically 4 divers per raft are secured by a 20 foot  hose to a raft at the surface, that they share with other participants. The divers below have to pull the raft along as they swim. This is fine as long as ALL other participants are pulling in the same direction (not always the case). Along with the wind ant the surface and other divers pulling the raft where they want to go this can be an arduous task. Not to mention the entanglement of hoses with other divers that we see underwater quite often.

From Wikipedia.

“Unfortunately for Scuba divers, in case of emergency, the Scuba diver is not provided with any emergency buoyancy system unlike a Scuba diver who has a buoyancy compensatory, meaning that the Scuba diver must swim to the surface or tread water until help arrives, which could prove fatal.”

It is sad but we have been witness to some absolutely reckless scuba guides here.  There is a company that works out of most of the hotels here in Maui offering scuba. A former scuba guide of theirs told me. Their guides (including him) are certified by an instructor that was just doing give me some money now you are  rescue diver certified without properly training  them, so they could have guides quickly due to the very fast turnover rate of guides.

Participants must answer NO to ALL questions on a medical questionnaire prior to diving. Otherwise a doctor needs to get involved.  We have witnessed these scuba guides telling their divers to cross out the YES they put down and put a NO there.  Here is a couple examples. At the Sheraton Maui  a diver said “I had a heart attack a couple years ago. The scuba guide said believe it or not, but this is the honest truth. “Just go slow and take it easy.” At the Marriott Kaanapali another diver said “I have asthma” scuba guide said. “Well we won’t be going fast you will be ok just stay close.”

Are you kidding me? This is people’s lives they are playing with. Having an asthmatic Member of my family. When an asthma attack is happen the last place they should’ve is offshore under water.  If their doctor gives the ok as only a doctor can. NOT a scuba guide. Then by all means go out and have fun.

The GRITTY on this is simple. They are paid a commission per diver.  So if they do what is right and tell them they can’t go until a doctor clears them. Then the scuba guide loses money. Sad but true.

Article in progress please check back. 

Hello Scuba Divers and Potential Scuba Divers.

I have wrote an article on

If you want to take a look at it to get a little info about typical questions and answers on Maui and Scuba Diving Maui. Take a look here…

Many people come to the island of Maui to scuba dive. But when we take them out for dives many of the divers were expecting different types of things. So, to clarify what is to be expected. Here is a little info about diving in Maui.

Water temperature:

I remember when I first came to Maui and jumped into the water. It felt warm, compared to the water off Calif that I was used to going in. Maui water temperatures vary between 74 in the winter and 81 degrees Fahrenheit in summer it is much more temperate than the 52-54 degree water I was used to.

Divers used to the warmer waters of the Bahamas, or Caribbean, come out to Maui and think it is much cooler than they expected. So if you want warmer water plan your trip in mid to late summer, around August – October. Most divers are comfortable in a 3 mm shorty wet suit but if you tend to get cold, wear a 4-5 mm wet suit.

Sea Life:

Maui has unique dive topography due to the lava formations. Endangered Hawaiian Green Sea turtles find these formations great to rest in as they wedge themselves into the nooks that were formed as the lava formed. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles can be seen on almost every dive. They are very used to seeing people. More times than not, they will approach snorkelers and divers very close. It is the law that you must not touch the turtles, or impede their progress to the surface.

Do to the Hawaiian islands location, many fish out here are endemic to Hawaii. About 30 percent of Hawaii’s fish are endemic (only found here).

Monk Seals:

Which are extremely endangered with a population estimate of around 1,300 individuals. They seen to return to the same locations on Maui time after time. We see them in many of the caves that we dive. They find these caves a nice place to rest for hours and sometimes day’s. They do allow people to get close but this is not advised and also illegal.

Spotted Eagle Ray’s:

Can be seen on occasion and mostly between Sept through Feb. It is suspected that they are coming in close to the shores during their mating season.

Manta Ray’s:

Can be seen as well. There is a particular (cleaning station) location that they have be seen by divers having the cleaner fish picking at there dead skin, algae and growths. The Mantas will parade back and fourth as if going through a car wash.

Whale Sharks:

Do come by on occasion but are mostly seen off the deep waters of Molokini crater. Molokini, rising from depths of 300 feet, is an extinct caldera located approximately 2.5 miles off the south portion of Maui.

Tiger Sharks:

Although having made the news lately for Shark attacks. They are VERY rarely seen by divers. I have over 10,000 dives under my belt in Maui and have never encountered one.

White Tip Reef Sharks:

Are very common in the waters of Maui. These Sharks are very docile and will allow divers to get close but not too close before they swim off. They will circle around and swim back to the spot they were resting at in the sand. White Tips are one of the few sharks that can remain motionless and still be able to pass water through their gills.

Here is a video of Mala Wharf. This dive site is where the White Tips are found very frequently.

Mala Wharf / Mala Pier

In2Scuba Diving Maui Dive Co. Can take you to these locations and is a good resource to dive with.

I welcome your feedback anythying I can add to it.


In2Scuba Diving Maui Dive Co.

It is nearing November and the Humpback Whales are on their way to Maui. Normally we can start to see the first sightings in October. We will be keeping our eyes open for them and postings will be added as we find out more.


Update: February 3rd 2014

Just about any beach you go to, you will be seeing the Humpback Whales of Maui playing, spouting, breaching. They put on a great display and usully are close enough for easing viewing. Yesterday driving from Lahaina to Wailea I must have seen 7 groups of Whales along my drive.

Update: January 17th 2014

Whale sightings are now a constant. The Whale watching boats are busy gathering in groups off the shore of Maui to view the Whales. We hear the Whales very loud now on every scuba dive and when snorkeling now. This will last through May when they leave for Alaska.

Update: December 15 2013

We are hearing the Whales now on just about every dive. I have seen a total of 3 breaching out of the water this last week. I was in South Maui on all three occasions

Update: December 2nd 2013

Monday the 25th of November I heard the first Whales of the year for us underwater. Yesterday I heard the second sounds of the Humpback om our dive down south in Makena.

Update: May 2nd 2014

It is that time of year again, and we have to say goodbye to the Humpback Whales, as they are leaving Maui. We have had the yearly pleasure once again, scuba diving with the sounds of the Humpbacks complimenting or dives. But they have been getting fewer and farther between. I did not hear anything on our last dive yesterday

I will be giving more updates when the Whales are returning to Maui later in the year

Water temperature in Maui Blog

Current water temperature for scuba diving Maui info

  • Sept 30th 2013 is 81 degrees Fahrenheit
  • November 18th 2013 the water temp is still pretty warm in Maui this time of year. I took a reading down in Wailea and temp gauge read 78 degrees at 45 feet.
  • December 2nd 2013 Water temp off Maui is 76 Degrees in Makena at 30 Feet.
  • February 15th 2014 Maui water temp checked in at 75 degrees in Ka’anapali
  • March 2nd 2014 Maui water temp checked in at 75 degrees in Lahaina
  • April 7th 2014 Maui water temp was 76 degrees in Kaanapali at Black Rock
  • May 5th 2014 Maui water temperature in Kaanapali was 77 degrees. So, it is definitely getting warmer now. In Wailea in a normally warmer area it was 80 degrees.
  • June 28th Scuba diving black rock today water temp was was 80 degrees. So, we are pretty much athe max temp we get here in Maui during the summer.
  • July 29th Airport beach in Kaanapali we had 81 degrees feels much warmer in the shallows
  • August 20th 81 degrees and an 82  degree reading at Airport beach Kaanapali. Divers that do not want to wear a wetsuit are feeling warm even after two dives Whoop Whoop!!!!
  • Sept 30th 2014 Exceptionally warm water I am getting 82-84 readings in all locations
  • October 31st 2014 Starting to notice a very slight cooling. Water temp today was 80 degrees still can’t complain huh?
  • November 12th 2014 Water is definately cooling down. In Kaanapali today it was 79 degress and in Lahaina at Mala Wharf it was 80 degrees
  • December 3rd 2014 and now I am getting 76- 77 degee readings in Kaanapali
  • August 20th 2015 We are having a nice warm water temp of 82 degrees
  • September 20th 2015 The water here in Maui is still exceptionally warm and hanging around 83 degrees.
  • Scuba Diving in Maui this year has been a real treat, and no wet suits have been the norn for most divers.
  • October 20th 2015 Maui ocean temperature is still abnormally warm at around 80 degrees farenheit