When is the Best Time to Go Snorkeling?
Have you ever gone snorkeling and felt a little underwhelmed at the selection of aquatic life you saw? Did you ever consider that time of day might be a factor? Timing is actually fairly important when it comes to snorkeling. Read the rest of the article below to learn the best times for seeing the most aquatic creatures you can!
Believe it or not, what time you go snorkeling definitely matters as far as what you’ll see when you go. You might be thinking, “They’re fish! They live there! Where could they go to?” That’s certainly a fair question, but, when somebody walks by your house, do they always see you in the window?
Unless you live in an entirely glass-walled house, the answer is no because the conditions are not always the same. That same logic applies to aquatic life. You might be looking in the right area, but your timing is off, meaning creatures might be sleeping, hiding from waves and currents, or maybe the water is too cold at that time for them to be lively.
Key Things to Watch For
With that in mind, you can keep an eye out on a few factors that will alter your experience. When considering snorkeling, you should ask yourself three important questions: What does the weather look like? What does the water look like? What time of year is it? No matter where you decide to snorkel, all of those questions are absolutely relevant and will directly impact what you see.
What does the weather look like?
This question is primarily concerned with what nature is doing outside the water. The main things to keep an eye out for are the wind, temperature, and rain.
The wind is important because it affects the currents of the waters. Ocean life you’ll see underwater aren’t going to swim against the current just so you can see them. They’ll swim with the current, often sweeping them out of our range of vision. In Hawaii, the wind gets stronger as the day goes on, meaning the best time to avoid wind is early in the morning.
Any rain falling also hurts your chances of seeing aquatic life. When it rains, clouds will block out crucial sunlight, hurting your vision underwater. Hawaii has areas where it rains infrequently, like Maui, making it easy to avoid the rain.
The temperature of the environment is important for your own comfort. Although the temperature of Hawaii stays around 80°F for most of the winter and closer to 90°F during the summer, it may be colder earlier in the day. Because going early is optimal for snorkeling in Hawaii, you might want to wear a wetsuit if it’s too cold in the morning.
What does the water look like?
Now that you’ve looked at weather factors outside of the water, it’s time to take a look at the water itself. The two key factors for the water are the position of the tide and size of the waves coming into the area.
Tides are absolutely important for snorkeling, with a lower tide being far preferrable to a high tide. This is because a low tide allows for shallow pools to form, giving you a better view of the sea creatures below. If the tide is too high, you won’t be able to see deep enough into the water to see anything worthwhile.
Waves are also fairly important, but if you’re snorkeling in bays around Maui, this won’t be much of an issue. During the winter, much of Hawaii is excellent for surfing because of the large waves available. Large waves are not conducive to viewing underwater life because the movement of the water disturbs them. Maui has many bodies of water protected from waves and tide changes, making it great for year-round snorkeling.
Does the time of year matter?
This may come as a shock, but what time of year you go also matters! While being important for actually being able to see water life, what month it is matters to how much you’ll enjoy the experience. Some months are busier than others, and you also have to factor in hurricane season.
The best time of the year to go snorkeling in Maui (just for being able to see many lively aquatic creatures) is definitely in the summer. The water will be warmer, winds will be slower, and any sea swells will be minimal.
Even though the summer is the best time to go for optimal viewing, it may not be the best choice for you experience-wise. Because summer is the best time, it attracts the most tourists and other people wanting to snorkel. No matter what you’re trying to do, it can be easy to be frustrated by overcrowding. If you want to snorkel at a decent time of year, but want to skip the crowds, consider going right after summer, maybe around November.
Because Hawaii is in the tropics, it absolutely experiences a hurricane season. This begins in June and ends in November. During the season, there is a chance of tropical storms and even hurricanes hitting the area. Because of global climate change, this has increased in recent years and has become even more likely. Even with that, thousands of people visit Hawaii during hurricane season without issue.
Plan to Go to Maui This Year!
By now you should be a little more informed when it comes to deciding a time for snorkeling. You definitely need to pay attention to the climate and weather, with certain conditions being excellent times to snorkel and others being poor.
Try to stick to times with plenty of sunshine, minimal wind, low tides, and a lack of waves. These will keep your vision optimal and prevent any disturbances from scaring away fish. If you decide to snorkel in South Maui, this becomes less important because of how many protected bodies of water already feature great conditions for snorkeling! Book your snorkeling tour in South Maui today and be sure to pick a time of year that suits your needs!