If you're in the mood to dive a relatively new site that's still being discovered, ask us about Mala. Maui is home to some remarkable underwater locales, but few offer a history as interesting -and relatively modern- as the former Mala Wharf.
Mala Maui is off the beaten tourist path yet very easy to find. Mala offers dive opportunity for most levels of divers and snorkelers. Launched in 1922, the steel-reinforced pier was meant to provide a place where steamers could embark passengers and load goods. Shortly after being built, the Mala Wharf was found to be entirely inadequate for the job of servicing large steamships. That was not the end of Mala, however. The sturdy structure allowed smaller vessels to shuttle passengers, pineapples and agricultural freight. Mala also served as an embarkation point for whalers. During WWII, the ramps at Mala Maui were well trodden by soldiers on their way to and from leave in Lahaina, explains California Diver magazine.
In 1992, Hurricane Iniki changed everything about Mala Maui. With winds that peaked around 145 mph., Iniki wrought tremendous havoc on the islands. The most powerful hurricane to strike the islands in decades, Iniki spelled the end of Mala Wharf near Lahaina, Maui. Strong waves, 30-foot surf, and powerful winds sent Mala Wharf to the sandy bottom where the pilings and other remains of the pier now act as an artificial reef where colorful fish thrive. To view these denizens, arrange a morning or afternoon dive expedition with Banyan Tree Divers. Let's see what's left of Mala on Maui while marveling at some of the most colorful and amazing corals, fish, reef sharks and tropical marine life on the planet.
Ask any local, and they may assure you that Mala Maui offers the best snorkeling in town. You can get there by boat, but you don't need a boat to get there. Park in the public lot, then head to where the sand and former pier intersect. Unless the river is draining in a torrential runoff, you can safely enter the water here and then kick out to the dive site. Be sure to look both ways for boat traffic, because there may be numerous vessels with the same idea as you. Mala Maui is immediately south of the bridge at Lahaina Cannery Mall. Downward of the boat ramp, you will find restrooms and showers.
The Hawaiian islands are undoubtedly among the most enchanted places on Earth. Here one finds active volcanoes and snow-capped mountain peaks. Kauai offers some of the most ancient real estates on the planet, while the newest land mass is being created off the southern coast of the Big Island right now. When you're ready to dive into Hawaii and see Mala Maui for yourself, give us a call at (808)446-6099. We are Banyan Tree Divers, and we can take you to an underwater playground that will live on in your dreams forever.
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