Below you will find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions as well as some Questions that Should Be Asked, and Questions to Ask Yourself before booking a dive. We hope this is helpful. If we forgot something….please let us know!
• Where is the best place to dive on Maui?
Molokini Crater is a shallow water crater in the middle of a deep-water channel, consequently in addition to the multi-colored tropical fish, on any given day, you may also have sharks, mantas, dolphins or whales. Even the occasional whale shark or Hawaiian Monk Seal has been spotted there. Molokini is a marine sanctuary about 3 miles off the coast of Maui and boasts 100-200 feet of visability nearly every day.
The Makena Coast of Maui is home to the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles which are always a treat to dive with. The coastline also offers some wreck dives and swim through archways and caverns as a variation to the terrain.
• Where and when does the charter meet and when will we be back?
We operate out of the Kihei Boat Ramp (located across the street from a condo at 2777 South Kihei Road). You will meet the boat on truck and trailer in the parking lot at 6:30am and then they will launch the boat. You will be back on the dock around 11:00 am.
• Do you offer afternoon charters?
We offer an 11:15 am-3:30pm trip based on request and weather, however, we try to steer you to the morning charter as the weather is usually best in the morning. We are happy to customize our dive time for your group whenever possible on a private charter basis..
We typically do the first dive, the deeper dive, at Molokini to a depth of 80-85 feet, and then continue the dive at multi-levels with the majority of the dive being in 60 feet of water. The second dive is usually along the south coast of Maui in 40-60 feet of water.
• How long is the dive?
While there are always variables that may effect the length of the dive, (depth, air consumption) we typically do the first dive for 30-40 minutes and the second dive is 45 minutes to an hour.
• How much does diving cost on Maui?
Scuba Diving on Maui from a boat costs approx. $124-164 depending on the destination and equipment needed. This link will show you our rates and seasonal discounts for Maui Scuba Diving, Snorkeling and Introductory diving. We also offer Private Charters. Discounts are also available for repeat and frequent divers, kama’aina and Military.
• Are there any other fuel charges or hidden fees?
The only additional fee is a 7.166% tax (4.166% sales tax and a 3% Harbor’s Fee).
The prices quoted include: tanks, weights, equipment if you need it, instruction if you need it, a friendly and knowledgeable Dive Master or Instructor to lead your dives, two dives for Certified Divers and one dive for Introductory divers, the boat charter to and from the dive sites, refreshments: soda, juice, water, muffins, pineapple and chips. Oh, and a memory of a lifetime!
• Should I bring my own dive equipment?
We always recommend that you bring at minimum your personal gear—fins, mask and snorkel, however we will provide them if you do not. While it is always best to have equipment that you are familiar and comfortable with, with the extra airline baggage charges it can be cost prohibitive to bring your own. Check our seasonal discounts offered on our rate page as we often do specials that discount the rental fee due to the baggage fees imposed by the airlines.
There are a couple of options if you don’t have your card. We can go online to verify your card but we will need to know your certifying agency (PADI, NAUI, etc), your full name and your birth date. In the event we are unable to find proof of your certification, we will ask you some dive safety questions to verify that you are certified and that you remember the pertinent rules to dive safely. If you are able to satisfactorily answer the questions, we will have you sign a verification form and we will take you diving. If you can not answer the questions, or if it has been a long time since you dove, we will take you diving as an Introductory or Refresher Diver providing you with a class in the basic diving skills and rules and on one, shallow dive.
• What if I haven’t dived in several years?
If you haven’t been diving in two or more years, we reserve the right to determine whether you are ready to dive on both dives AND whether we are comfortable diving with you. In the event that we do not feel it would be safe or wise to take you on the first, deeper dive, while the certified divers who ar current are down on the deeper dive, we will provide you with basic instruction as as a refresher, have you snorkel and then take you on the second, shallower dive.
You don’t need a dive buddy to dive with us because we will be diving in small groups of no more than six, led by a dive master or dive instructor. If necessary, we will assign dive buddies on the boat.
• Do you provide Nitrox?
No, we do not provide Nitrox, but you are welcome to bring it if you want to pick it up from a dive shop the day before. When you call to book your reservation, we can let you know where you can get it. Please note that even if you are using Nitrox, we dive to the Dive Tables in terms of time/depth.
• Do you have a DIN Adaptor?
No, I’m sorry…ours ran off with someone’s regulator to live happily ever after in some foreign country. However, let us know the problem and we will let you use our gear.
We have a 48-hour cancellation policy on individual bookings and 72-hours on groups of 4 or more and private charters. This means that if you cancel outside of the 48- or 72-hour cancellation period, there is no charge. If you cancel inside of the cancellation period, there is a full charge unless we can replace you. All cancellations due to sickness inside of the cancellation period require a doctor’s note from a local doctor. If you do not provide a doctor’s note, we will charge you in full and give you a Space Available certificate for use in the future. “Space Available” means that you call us the night before you want to go, and if we have space available, you can come aboard at no further charge. In order to hold your spot on the boat, we will be turning away other divers and reserving our dive team’s time. Last minute cancellations effect several people and can cause entire charters to be cancelled. It is assumed that you have READ and AGREE to this policy. Giving of your credit card number to reserve your dive is solely to confirm your spot on the boat and to verify that you agree to this policy. THANK YOU for your understanding, integrity, agreement and adherence to this policy.
• Do you rent cameras or have photography packages available?
We do not rent cameras, however, we do offer photo packages. For $85, you will receive a CD with pictures from your dive as well as the best of the best stock images from many years of Maui Diving!
Yes! We do offer dives along the Back Wall of Molokini on Wednesday and Friday, our Expedition Dive Days. It is possible that we will dive the back wall on other days by request but the dive requires certain skills and conditions so we screen our divers before taking them there. We require that you have a minimum of 20 dives behind you or that you have an advanced certification and that you have dived within the last year, preferably 6 months. It is a drift dive, meaning that the boat is not moored so you must be able to descend and ascend without a line. Since the site is over 300 feet deep, you must have good buoyancy control and awareness of your depth.
• What is the temperature of the water in Hawaii?
The water temperature off Maui ranges from 74-82 depending on the time of year you are diving. We provide 3mm shorty and long wetsuits. We have a direct link to the current weather forecast on our Maui Weather page.
• How many divers are on your boat?
There are actually two questions here—how many CAN your boat take and how many will be on the day you are diving. The boat can carry up to 12 divers or 19 snorkelers based on a complex Coast Guard calculation. Anytime there are more than six, we have two dive leaders so that there are a maximum of two small groups of 6. However, we will run a charter with as few as four divers. The busy-ness of the boat depends greatly on when you are visiting.
The summer months, June-August, and the Thanksgiving, Christmas—New Years, and Spring Break holidays are the busiest times of year on Maui.
• When are the whales on Maui and do you dive with them?
The Humpback Whale population on Maui peaks from December through April with a few early birds prior and a few stragglers into May. It is illegal to dive with the whales—unless they choose to dive with you, meaning that you are already in the water when a whale swims up. While this is rare, it does happen at least once or twice a year. We always whale watch during this time of year and are treated to the serenade of whale songs underwater as we dive.
• Do I have to be certified to dive?
No, you do not have to be certified to dive. We offer Discover SCUBA or Introductory Dives from the boat primarily on Tuesday and Thursday—although it is possible on other days by request. The requirements to do a Discover Scuba dive are that you are a comfortable swimmer, speak and understand English, are in good medical health with no medical problems and are not on any prescription medications. You must also not go to elevation after you dive for a minimum of twelve hours—meaning no helicopter, airplane, zipline or driving up Haleakala.
The minimum introductory diver needs to be 10, however this should be a mature enough ten-year-old to sit through a class, pay attention and follow important safety guidelines.
• Can non-divers and snorkelers come on board?
Yes, we are happy to accommodate families with certified divers, introductory divers, snorkelers and passengers. Since we are limited in the number of people we can take, and due to insurance liability issues we do still charge a fee for non-divers but we do offer discounts whenever feasible.
The only requirement is that you do not go to elevation AFTER you dive so it doesn’t matter what you do prior. Flying into Maui and diving immediately is fine. It is important to keep in mind that one can go to 10,000 feet on Maui by car so after you dive, plan on staying under 1000 feet in elevation for a minimum of 18 hours. This includes no: airplanes, helicopters, zip lines or driving up Haleakala…even some of the horseback riding stables are at elevation so plan your activities carefully.
• Do you supply gear? What kind of gear?
We do supply gear when needed—Aqualung BCD’s and Sherwood regulators. The fins we provide are fitted warm water fins (not the kind needing boots). We do not supply computers, however, these are led dives, guided by the dive tables.
We always recommend whenever possible that you bring your own personal gear—mask and fins. However, we do provide it in the event you do not have your own. We also recommend that you always dive with a dive watch to be aware and responsible for your dive times.
The most common sharks you are likely to see on a dive off of Maui are White-tip reef sharks. They are not harmful at all and are beautiful and graceful to watch. On occasion we also see Grey Sharks, which are also great to watch and pose no threat to divers. The Tiger Shark is the one that occasionally attacks swimmers, but has never been reported to harass divers and in fact, when approached underwater, often turns and swims away. There has never been any evidence of a Tiger Shark attacking a SCUBA Diver. There are Hammerhead sharks at various parts of the island, but are not seen on dives at Molokini or the Makena Coast.
• Can a woman dive on her period? Is there a danger from sharks?
You can absolutely dive while on your period. The sharks are not a problem as it takes a LOT of blood to attract a shark. A bigger problem is that there is not a head (bathroom) on the boat, so it may be best to plan your dive carefully.
Questions that SHOULD be asked:
Oddly enough, we get asked about everything from sunscreen to tourist tips but rarely are we asked about our safety policies and record. We have been in the dive business for nearly 30 years and have an excellent safety record. While having fun and exciting dives is a high priority, the safety of our guests is our number one priority.
• What is the experience of your staff?
For the most part, most of the dive boats offer a pretty similar dive profile with a few variations. However, what makes or breaks your experience is the crew. Makena Coast Dive Charters is owner-operated with the same owner for nearly 30 years (Captain Steve Hogan) and the crew are all experienced and excellent both in the water, with the boat duties and customer service.
It is very important to be in good medical health and fitness when diving. If you have suffered any significant medical conditions, had a major decrease in fitness, or have been placed on medication you should get clearance from a doctor. If you are an introductory diver we will require you to fill out a medical form that states that you are in good health and not on any medications. If you are having cold symptoms, it is best to wait until you are healthy to dive.
Can I dive when I am pregnant?
No, it is not advisable to dive while pregnant, but you can snorkel!
Can I dive with a cold?
It is not a good idea to dive with a cold as it can make the dive uncomfortable, clearing the ears challenging and make the cold worse.
Can I dive with contact lenses?
You can, but it takes a little more awareness to keep your contacts from washing out.
If I haven’t been diving in several years, do I need a refresher?
We often get calls from divers who haven’t been diving in many years and our policy is that if you haven’t been diving in two or more years you MAY need a refresher before we take you on a dive. If you haven’t dove in four or more years you likely WILL need a refresher. In addition to the length of time since your last dive, the variable really has to do with how many dives you have under your belt, how comfortable your are and how much you remember. Consequently, anticipate that we will be asking you questions about your dive history when you call in to book the dive.
Are my dive skills up to date and proficient for the dive I am seeking?
Am I a comfortable diver or would I benefit from more training?
Am I in good health and should I get a physical before diving?
Is my equipment in good repair and working order?
All dive sites are weather conditions permitting.
Call 808-874-1273 for information and reservations!
Please keep the time difference in mind! We are 2-3 hours earlier than the west coast and 5-6 hours earlier than the east.