Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Captain's Blog

Everything You’ll Want to Know for Good Snorkeling Etiquette

Have you ever wondered what the general rules of conduct are regarding snorkeling etiquette? Whether you’re an experienced snorkeler or a first-timer, etiquette might not have been something anyone ever explained to you. That’s no fault of your own, but etiquette is something that is necessary for helping other snorkelers and aquatic life have a good time. Read the rest of this article to learn some valuable information to help you have good snorkeling etiquette!

The Bliss of Snorkeling in Maui

When you think of Maui, you probably think of gorgeous sunny beaches and plenty of crystal-clear water to swim in. That image is pretty accurate, because Maui is truly a tropical paradise. Not only are the locals relaxed and friendly, but the entire island has a positive vibe and easy-going appeal to it.

When you mix in the underwater offerings available in Maui, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t want to go! Remember those sunny beaches? The water surrounding those beaches are actually perfect places for unique and colorful tropical fish to be sighted! The way Maui was formed created natural bays of water, which are fairly undisturbed from the harsher currents of the ocean.

This lack of ocean movement makes for incredibly clear water, but it also means that fish and other creatures won’t be bothered by ocean currents. This makes it a natural area for them to spend a majority of their days in! With all these powerful factors at play, Maui is undoubtedly one of the better spots in the world for snorkeling!

Proper Etiquette

While Maui certainly is fantastic for snorkeling, that knowledge is no secret. Even during the winter months, when you might think people wouldn’t want to visit Hawaii, you can find a decent amount of snorkelers out and about in the water. If you go during the busier summer months, you can absolutely expect to see several people out in the water.

You might enjoy this, but it can make it more difficult to find good, quiet spots for great viewing. Everyone else out there is also trying to have a good time snorkeling, so you’ll need to know the best way to handle other snorkelers!

Not only are there other people to consider, but the very aquatic life you’re viewing require special consideration. The fish and creatures you’ll see are definitely wonderful and you might be tempted to get close and touch them, but that’s definitely not okay. You might not know this unless someone mentioned it to you, so here are some important etiquette rules for snorkeling!

Aquatic Life

When it comes to the actual fish and bigger creatures you’ll see while snorkeling, the most important thing is maintaining their safety (and your own). What this primarily means is not to disturb any creatures that you find. Here are some other important rules of etiquette regarding aquatic life:

  • Don’t Touch – One of the most important rules regarding fish and other creatures is not touching them. This actually serves many purposes. First, it protects you from any potential harm. Fish can bite, other creatures might be poisonous, and coral is actually a living organism! Everything in the ocean should be left undisturbed. You can look all you’d like, but don’t touch – for your safety and theirs! 
  • Don’t Feed – You’ll also want to avoid feeding any human food or snacks to any creatures in the ocean. Even if they do eat human food, any creature you find is designed to live and eat within a specific ecosystem. There are natural sources of food that creature should be eating, which can create issues if they start looking for human food. Not only that, but this can also give creatures a false sense of security, letting them become too comfortable with humans. This can easily endanger them by leaving them vulnerable to poachers and hunters. Furthermore, any food you do give to fish isn’t designed for their bodies, which can also cause them digestive issues, or even death. 
  • Don’t Pollute – Another important thing to keep in mind is leaving the environment undisturbed. Would you like someone coming into your neighborhood and leaving trash all over the place? How would you feel about someone wearing cologne that a family member is allergic to? While cologne isn’t much of an issue, certain types of sunscreen can actually be deadly to coral reef in Maui. Make sure any sunscreen you wear doesn’t have harmful chemicals and that you’re leaving the ocean cleaner than you found it.

Other Snorkelers

The other creatures you’ll experience while snorkeling are other people! The ocean is free to everyone, meaning you’ll surely see plenty of people trying to get their snorkel on. This can be frustrating when you’re trying to find a good spot, but we all need to find a way to be fair! Fortunately there are some common rules of decency that can apply here to allow everyone to have a great time! Here’s some important etiquette regarding other snorkelers:

  • Awareness of Surroundings – If you’re snorkeling inside an ultra-busy location like Molokini Crater, you might have several other snorkelers close nearby. The quickest way to lose your immersion in the wonderful experience is to swim into someone else! This is why you’ll want to keep an eye on your surroundings, noting where other snorkelers and boats are to ensure both your and their safety. 
  • Buddy System – Whenever you do decide to snorkel, you’ll want to do it with a buddy. This gives you an extra pair of eyes to serve as a lookout every once in a while, but it also makes you more obvious to other snorkelers when you are in a group. More importantly, this helps keep you safe in case something goes wrong with your equipment because you’ll have someone to help right nearby. 
  • Respect – It is important to remember that everyone is just trying to enjoy themselves! Respect one another’s boundaries, and don’t pressure anyone into moving spots! The ocean is open to everyone, and there’s plenty of beautiful fish to see and love for all!

Put Your Newly-Found Knowledge to Use!

If you want to give your family a wonderful vacation they’ll never forget, then you need to book a snorkeling trip to Maui! The natural beauty and offerings of the island are truly one-of-a-kind! With several miles of beautiful beaches, you’re sure to find a great snorkel spot!

When you do go snorkeling, you’ll want to keep in mind what is required for maintaining good etiquette. This concerns other snorkelers, but more importantly the very marine life you’re here to see! Don’t try to feed them, and definitely don’t try to get close and touch them. Give other snorkelers space and respect, but keep an eye on things to make sure you don’t run into people!

Now that you know how to practice proper snorkeling etiquette, it is time to put it into action! The best way to experience snorkeling in Maui is on a tour with Kai Kanani! Whether you want a romantic cruise to watch the sunset, a trip to legendary Molokini Crater, or even a casual outing for whale watching, Kai Kanani has you covered! With unmatched luxury and service in the Maui region, there’s no better way to snorkel than with Kai Kanani!

  • Posted in: