I would say that I would consider myself a casual snorkeler. I like to do it, but I can live with out it if it doesn’t work into the schedule. However, on our recent trip to Maui, we learned that we could paddle an outrigger canoe out into the ocean, jump in and snorkel from there! YES! We loved the idea of leaving the shore as well as trying a new sport! At the Andaz Maui Beach Club, which is right on the sand at the resort, they make is so easy to choose a variety of outdoor activites and water sports.
Although I have seen outrigger canoes before, I never really gave much thought to the possibility of actually sitting in one and paddling in the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. I LOVED IT! Two tickets on the outrigger please with snorkel gear included!
Paddling the outrigger canoe
It was so much fun! We were given a quick lesson about the boat and how to get in and out of it gracefully and safely. We learned the canoe’s dimensions and how it was designed. There were five of us passengers and one expert guide. We all pushed the outrigger into the ocean and carefully jumped in from the left side of the boat. The guide even taught us the Hawaiian words for when we had to move our paddles from one side of the boat to the other. I of course don’t remember them… Although none of us had ever ridden in an outrigger, we were able to listen to his cues and really did an amazing job gliding the outrigger through the clear turquoise water. The wind was still and the calm water was so clear. He was very patient with us and we were very proud of our new found skill! Ha!
As we paddled, he shared the history of the area and what we could expect when we reached the destination of the reef. It was so lovely and peaceful out on the water. Since we were in Maui during the migration of the whales, he offered to dive into the water and place a microphone deep into the water so we could hear the whales! Are you kidding me? It was so thrilling to hear the sounds the whales were making under the water even if they were far away. They sort of sounded like moaning cows. I will never forget this experience as long as live! At this point in the trip we haven’t even been in the water yet and I am still having the greatest time!
Craig snorkeling in Maui holding the pencil sea urchin
Hello Mister Octopus
Once we arrived at the reef we snorkeled at our leisure and enjoyed the spectacle of beautiful tropical fish, spotted eels and pencil sea urchins. As you would imagine, it was a magical sight!. However, my favorite creature of the sea that morning was a gangly octopus. Oh my gosh it was creepy, yet intriguing and slimy. The way he moved through the water it was as if he was doing a water dance of some kind. I say “He’, but I have no idea the sex of the animal, it’s just a guess! The guide was able to hold it and play with a bit and take some incredible photos! I have never been that close to an octopus before! Yikes!
Paddling back to shore
This is the view from the outrigger canoe as we were headed back to shore. It was an incredible learning experience and so exhilarating too!