I recently had the pleasure of taking my two brothers and a good friend out from Makena. With so many options here on Maui, it can be a challenge finding the right fit for everyone in the group. Hawaiian Paddle Sports was a perfect fit! I wanted to have a guided journey into our ocean, but I didn’t want a big group and any touristy nonsense. Our Guide, Nico, is born and raised with the sensibility of an old soul (though he’s much younger than any of us.) Nico managed to share an incredible amount about the ocean, land, culture and history of Maui while keeping our interest and not overwhelming us.
Taking a Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe into Maui waters is a special thing. And when you’re able to experience our ocean with context, it becomes something entirely different. All of us, including my mainland brother, felt a deeper connection with the land and people. I can’t say enough about this trip, so I’ll instead share favorite photos.
When paddling, you realize just how important it is to be in sync with your group. When everyone is on, it’s almost effortless. When even one person is off, you crawl to a stop. There are few ocean sports where you have this kind of connection with others. It was a blast, and a good work out, getting out to the snorkel spot.
This is one of my favorite spots to spearfish, so I was pretty excited to go down purely as a spectator. It’s like an aquarium here. So many fish, vibrant reef, and the occasional shark and/or manta ray.
Schools of fish, beautiful hidden crabs, and spikey sea urchin lie all around. We snorkeling almost all the way to Little Beach! There was so much to see, we kept going.
This was one of the few times snorkeling without my wife where I didn’t mind her absence. I’m not the most observant snorkeler, and I usually rely heavily on her keen eye. Thankfully, we had Nico and his seasoned attention to point out amazing things (and take loads of photos!)
Of course, finding any eels make for excitement. So beautiful and intense! We loved watching this guy.
And, of course, the obligatory sea turtle. As much as we’re used to seeing them in the water, we’re not jaded yet. Their grace in the water is always a treat.
So that’s the bulk of it! We had a great time. I can’t recommend Hawaiian Paddle Sports enough. There’s something to having a small private group with a knowledgable guide that makes this a hundred times better than going alone or with a massive group. A big mahalo to Nico and his team! ALOHA!