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Featured Destination: The Mala Wharf Experience

Mala Wharf, located on the southwestern coast of West Maui, between Lahaina and Ka’anapali is one of the most unique snorkeling destinations in Hawai'i. From the surface of the water it might not be apparent, but submerged below lies a destroyed pier that once stood almost 30 years ago.

This dock once served as a shipping facility for the islands agriculture but fell victim to Hurricane Iniki in 1992. This hurricane brought large heavy swells of up to 30ft breaking waves causing demolition to most of the pier. Mala pier now consists of its crumbled concrete slabs and pilings scattered across the ocean floor from where it used to stand.

Since that day it has now blossomed into a stunning artificial reef, with a vast array of marine life. With depths ranging 10-30 feet Mala offers an up close experience with an incredibly unique “wreck” dive feel. It is home to a wide variety of hawaiian reef fish, an abundance of green sea turtles, healthy coral, octopus, and even a few residential white tip reef sharks! It’s a fantastic way to check everything off the list when it comes to snorkeling! Not only is this a top favorite of our passengers but even to our captains and crew as well!

Swells, freshwater runoff, and current can sometimes effect snorkeling conditions here but it sure is a great place to make lasting memories of your trip to the island!

Private Sailing Charters is one of best ways to experience Mala! Come jump in with us!


Written by Jenna Wedekind, Naturalist and Crew aboard Kainani Sails






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