Where the f*ck is the marine biodiversity??

Well you can guess what this post going to be about.   I was going to start this post by leaving off the ‘is the biodiversity…’ and by asking where the fish were,  however I did find the fish,  it just happened to be the same fish everywhere I went — more on this topic shortly.

I want to say Maui has been awesome in almost all respects,  the food,  the hospitality,  the beaches are all great.   However there was one particular reason I came to the Hawaiian islands for my long awaited holiday and that was the snorkeling.   I expected the reefs and biodiversity of underwater life to be some of the best I had ever seen,  which is saying a lot since I’ve seen some crazy natural spots in the Cayman Islands, and the Gili islands in Lombok.   What I have found after a few days of snorkeling were some of the same fish, an octopus and some lazy sea turtles (that refused to get off the sea floor) and nothing like the biodiversity I’ve seen in Indonesia or other parts of Asia.  In fact nary a jellyfish to even sting me.

Yesterday as I went out on a highly recommended snorkeling excursion (based on the crew knowing what spots to go to) I was excited to see if I could have another uggway moment with a sea turtle.  To those of you who don’t remember, in Bali I came really close with a sea turtle and had eye to eye contact with a turtle for several minutes,  it was quite an experience.   Well at a spot near Molkini crater yesterday,  the captain said once you find the sea turtle they will surface for air every 10-12 mins so be sure to wait,  he mentioned this as he added that we should not to touch said sea turtle as it’s a 10K fine.   So when I found two turtles and they were resting on the bottom nearly 20 feet down,  I diligently waited, and waited, and waited.  In fact a good 20 mins of my 1.25 hours of snorkel time were spent waiting.  Those lazy turtles probably looked up at all the snorkellers (as around 15 of us had gathered once I found the duo) and must have said to themselves,  ‘go f*ck yourselves,  you can take your selfies with some other turtles’,  either that or the captain was wrong in his 12 min breathing estimation.   I’m sure it was somewhere between the two.  Here’s a picture,  if you look really hard you’ll see a turtle lounging at the bottom:

The number of rules one needs to remember while snorkeling here can be insane as we were reminded by the crew of the boat that took us out:

  • Don’t swim 20 feet over there you too rough
  • Don’t swim to far to the left you’ll go into a void that drops down 300 ft
  • Don’t go to the right there’s a boat with a hundred people on it.
  • Don’t go to close to the coral,  you’ll kill it.

It’s quite a lot to remember while swimming and trying to spot the undersea wildlife.  Point three is probably what has occurred over the years and why I don’t see much biodiversity left and they are trying to save what they can.    This makes me immensely sad,  as the world is a beautiful place and deserves to be seen.  All these rules and waivers I had to sign actually did make me laugh,  since I’m used to doing these activities in third world countries,  where they take you out on wooden boats, dump you in the ocean and there’s no guarantee that they will fish you out if a shark tries to eat you.  There are usually no waivers and no one to sue,  but so much more raw and unscripted.  So it truly is an interesting dichotomy between this trip and previous ones I’ve taken.  With that all being said I did get some fun pictures while snorkeling, and no doubt it was great meeting new people on these trips,  just not quite what I expected.

The other above land trips I took however have been amazing!   I got up at an ungodly hour this morning I think it was just before 3am to watch the sunrise over Haleakala, which is the tallest peak on island.  This sunrise was in all the Maui guidebooks so I decided that it was worth getting up for,  no doubt I was the walking dead all day because of it,  but it was worth it.  Amazing experience,  but my god it was cold,  we got up there an hour before everyone else and waited for the the sunrise in 2 degree weather with a windchill.   We all huddled together in the dark until the sun came up.  The viewing platform,  was at 9,740,  around 600 feet higher than the base camp at Everest,  and it was quite a view, pre and post sunrise:


Very spiritual,  and on that note Merry Christmas everyone! :-).

For more Maui  pictures I will be uploading to my Facebook account shortly as I don’t want them floating around the interweb,  and I think I’ve gotten quite the hang of the GoPro so I’ll post some novice tips on that too when I get back!

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