Liz
Dedicated September 2019

Maui Snorkeling for someone who doesn't know how to swim at all

Liz, on September 20, 2019 at 5:40 PM Posted in Honeymoon 0 23
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Hello! I know many people say they don't know how to swim but really do but aren't good swimmers. I'm one of the few who can't even doggy paddle across a pool . I can maybe doggy paddle 5 ft then start to sink lol. I am going to Maui for my honeymoon and people have suggest snorkeling since most of the time water isn't high enough to full submerge your body but you are still able to dip your head into the water.


Anyone know or tried anywhere in Maui where snorkeling was done in a shallow waters? I have a fear of being fully submerged in water so if anything I'm hoping to stand up, poke my head in the water to look at stuff, lift my head back up if I start to panic then go back in when I'm mentally ready again .


23 Comments

  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle
    I went to oahu and I can't swim. I went to hanauma bay and just saw fish by walking in the water aha. You didn't even really need to swim in order to see fish as the water can be so clear and the water not too deep. But then again I don't really know anything about Maui but I'd like to think there's other places similar to hanauma bay that you'd be able to do so
  • Liz
    Dedicated September 2019
    Liz
    View Quoted Comment

    I remember back when I was 12 I was terrified of going in the water but when we went to Waikiki we went to the beach and when I went into the water it was so clear. I was so happy that I knew exactly how far in the water I was and could see the bottom of the floor. My mom said I didn't want to leave the beach after that. I'm hoping I'll have that same feeling for Maui .


    My husband is super excited for Maui and knows how to swim so I feel bad keeping him from the water so I'm trying to figure out a compromise where I can slightly take myself out of my comfort zone but not trigger a full panic attack

  • Monique
    Rockstar December 2019
    Monique
    This is my entire Maui dilemma currently 馃ぃ馃ぃ I relate fully. I can swim but for short bursts. From what I saw You are given a life jacket in deeper water. In addition to that it鈥檚 salt water so as long as you do not freak out you will float naturally. (This is so hard for me to grasp because I am afraid of deep water but it is true)
  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle
    View Quoted Comment
    Oh I remember another thing that we did was I bought this really cheap life jacket off Amazon that said it would make you float. It did work because I can't even float anyway
  • Liz
    Dedicated September 2019
    Liz
    View Quoted Comment

    I know right. I cannot swim period. If you throw me in water without a flotation device I will for sure drown. There's no "maybe instincts will kick in". I tried learning to swim as a kid but after many failed attempts I gave up. I think it scarred me badly since I am terrified to even try again . My coworker mentioned on the big island there was an area where she went where she literally was able to walk in waist deep and just stick her head in the water and see fish. She didn't even need to go in the water fully. I'm hoping I can find somewhere in Maui where I can do this. Or next big thing is find a tour with very attentive guides who can be there just in case. I know you're always given a flotation device in deeper waters but I just dont like the idea of being in very deep waters. lol. I've seen some areas on pride of maui site where the depth of water is 0-10ft which seems doable for me if I was given a flotation device. I'm just not sure how tranquil or choppy the waters are in that area and if there are any coral reefs I need to worry about.

  • Liz
    Dedicated September 2019
    Liz
    View Quoted Comment

    Oh, is it something you can easily pack with you in a suitcase?

  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
  • Liz
    Dedicated September 2019
    Liz
    View Quoted Comment

    Oh thats awesome. I may need a kids size one lol! Last time I remember when I went kayaking they gave me a larger kids size life vest. I'm 5'2, 98lbs. I usually am a size 0 for clothes/pants and I can fit into kids size 12 .

  • earias
    Champion December 2017
    earias Online

    My husband and I went to Maui last year for our honeymoon and also the year before that with my company. The waters around the shore are very turbulent so you have to go out deep for calmer waters. We took a snorkeling tour and loved it, but I don't remember them giving us life jackets. It would make sense they would have them though.

    We just came back from the Big Island and the water is much calmer than Maui. However, if you intend on going snorkeling near the shore you should do it early in the morning because by the afternoon there is too much dirt/sand stirred up that you won't see anything. We made that mistake and went snorkeling in the afternoon and even after swimming out a while we still couldn't see anything except sand swirling around the ocean bottom.

  • Chrystan
    Dedicated October 2019
    Chrystan
    I went snorkeling in Maui last October. I am NOT a strong swimmer and I didn鈥檛 have a problem. We went to one of the beaches near Kihei. There was a sea turtle that just swam around the beach and went pretty close to the shore. You could easily stand and put your head in the water. It was mostly just floating. I thought i would be more scared. It went really well and I just stayed close to shore.
  • Amber
    Devoted May 2020
    Amber
    I鈥檝e never been to Hawaii, but I鈥檝e gone snorkeling many times in several countries. I鈥檝e snorkeled off the beach in shallower water and off boats in the middle of the ocean and I鈥檝e ALWAYS been given an inflatable life vest (not a hard life jacket) with the rest of my snorkel gear. I鈥檓 not a great swimmer, but I鈥檝e never had an issue with snorkeling or feeling like I鈥檓 sinking. I think you鈥檒l regret it if you don鈥檛 at least try to snorkel. Good luck and enjoy Hawaii!
  • Kelly
    Savvy October 2019
    Kelly
    I'd actually recommend going on a sailing/snorkeling trip rather than snorkeling from shore. You'll see more near the reefs, but when the water is really shallow, you have to be careful going over the coral, so you don't scrape yourself or damage the coral. From most beaches on Maui, you're going to want to clear the waves so the sand isn't being churned up, and if you aren't a confident swimmer it could be difficult. I've snorkled in the Carribean, off California, Oahu, Maui, and Kauai, and thought Maui had the strongest currents/was the choppiest. My fiance went snorkeling for the first time this year when we went to Maui, and he did much better from the boat than from shore. With the flotation devices they provide you should be fine. Or buy a pool noodle when you get to the island. Put it under your hips when you snorkel and you can hold on to it if you need to rest. If you can, buy a decent snorkle set (Amazon has a bunch) and practice in a pool before you go. The act of breathing thru the snorkel can cause you to feel a little panicky if you aren't used to it (you're breathing exclusively through your mouth).
  • Sharyl
    Dedicated October 2020
    Sharyl
    I don鈥檛 know how to swim at all. Not even doggy paddle but I was able to snorkel twice in Oahu at Hanauma Bay and Kaneohe Bay, both in deep waters with a tour guide. As long as I had a life vest, I was fine. I had a few panic attacks but after the tour guide got me comfortable in the water (after 15 mins both times) I was fine. Just be careful of the reefs! I accidentally hit it not realizing it was under my belly (because I was focusing on my breathing) and it hurt!
  • Elizabeth
    Dedicated June 2021
    Elizabeth

    When we went snorkeling in Maui, it was deeper water, but I could see the bottom and could touch it if I really wanted to, but I'd be underwater. No matter what, no one could go underwater, though. They required you all to have a life jacket on at all times, even those who placed themselves in the "strong swimmers" group. Normally on big excursions they'll have guides for swimmers of different abilities, and will definitely require life jackets. I'd just tell one of the guides that you can't swim and are scared and they'll definitely look out for you! You wouldn't be the first person to say it, I'm sure of it. Plus, the water in these places is normally super clear, so you could look out over the edge of the boat and see fish, too.

  • Liz
    Dedicated September 2019
    Liz
    View Quoted Comment
    Oh that's awesome. By any chance do you remember what the name of the tour was?
  • Elizabeth
    Dedicated June 2021
    Elizabeth
    View Quoted Comment

    I do not remember the name of the tour, but I know it was at the Molokini crater. It's actually an underwater volcano and just the top of the volcano comes out of the water and there's coral and a ton of fish that live in that little crater. We took a catamaran out and the guides were wonderful! You should be able to find some options with a Google search and compare reviews. Good luck!

  • Kelly
    Savvy October 2019
    Kelly

    The Trilogy excursions are great! Great boats that don't get too crowded, and the crew is fantastic! We did 2 tours with them in April.


  • Cassidy
    VIP October 2017
    Cassidy
    View Quoted Comment

    Why don't you get yourself a life vest? I'm short and don't like to be in the east coast ocean when the waves are sometimes so rough. A life vest might be $20 on amazon. But I have worn one in the ocean and it does feel so much more secure when you can't reach the ground.

  • Gen
    Master June 2019
    Gen
    Wear a life vest and you鈥檒l be fine! I actually do know how to swim but I鈥檓 not a strong swimmer and I get exhausted after snorkeling just from keeping myself afloat lol but if you wear a life vest it鈥檚 much lower effort
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD

    I would try to sign up for some kind of swim lesson or do something in a pool (swim with dolphins maybe?). Even if knee deep water, people can drown in bigger waves. It happens all the time.

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