The miles-long, untrammeled South Shore reef is home to curious turtles and Hawaiian monk seals, billowing eagle and manta rays, and giant bouquets of colorful fish, but because it lies a half-mile or more offshore, it’s easiest to explore via watercraft of some kind. Surfers, stand-up paddleboarders, and boogie boarders can find waves to entertain themselves, just as sport fishers have numerous near-shore and deep-sea options; since conditions are variable by day as well as by season, consult one of the Kaunakakai-based outfitters below before venturing out.
Diving, Fishing & Snorkeling
Molokai Fish & Dive, 61 Ala Malama Ave. (www.molokaifishanddive.com; 808/553-5926), carefully selects the day’s best sites for its snorkel tours ($79 standard) and two-tank scuba dives ($145). Owner, captain, and certified dive master Tim Forsberg runs tours from one of two Coast Guard–inspected boats: the comfy, 38-foot Delta dive boat Coral Princess and the twin-hulled, 31-foot power catamaran Ama Lua. When conditions permit, he also offers three-tank dives ($295) along the remote North Shore. Half-day deep-sea fishing charters start at $695, while groups of up to six may also charter the new 42-foot sailing cruiser, Maka Pueo, for 2- to 3-hour sunset cruises ($395). All kinds of dive and fishing gear, along with snacks and gifts, are for rent or sale at the downtown headquarters.
Among several other charter operators, Captain Tim Brunnert of Captain’s Gig Charters (www.molokaifishingcharters.com; 808/552-0390 or 808/336-1055) books sport-fishing, snorkel, sunset, and sightseeing cruises on the biggest, most comfortable boat in the harbor. He lets sportfishers keep some of the catch. He’s also a certified dive master. Call for current rates.
Molokai Ocean Tours, 40 Ala Malama Ave., above American Savings Bank (www.molokaioceantours.com; 808/553-3290), uses its six-passenger power catamaran to offer 3-hour troll fishing ($500 for the boat up six people) and a half-day deep-sea fishing charter ($625). Its snorkel tours ($75 adults, $60 children 10 and younger) include a SNUBA option that allows up to two people at a time to dive 30 feet, using hoses connected to a special mouthpiece.
For whale-watching tours (Dec–Mar), see “Organized Tours”.
Conveniently located between the airport and Kaunakakai at the corner of highways 460 and 470 (Holomua Junction), you’ll spot Beach Break (www.bigwindkites.com/beachbreak; 808/567-6091) by its rainbow fence made of surfboards. Inside, owner, photographer, and avid surfer Zach Socher rents surfboards ($24–$30 daily/$120–$150 weekly), bodyboards ($10/$35), and fins ($5/$21), among other beach gear for rent or sale. Check out the bright array of bikinis, boardshorts, “slippahs,” T-shirts, and sarongs, too. Socher dispenses free coffee and advice on surf spots during store hours, Monday through Saturday 10am to 4pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.