The main theme of my blog is to go out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you. I always go back to the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that says, “Do one thing everyday that scares you”. I think it’s really important to make yourself try something new. I know for me, a big motivating factor is the fear of regret or as the young-ins today call it “FOMO” (fear of missing out).
During the planning for this Maui trip, snorkeling was one activity that came up. Since I’ve been encouraging myself to conquer my fears through my blog, I thought, well, maybe this time I should try again.
I’ve been snorkeling before. Maybe I should say, I’ve tried to snorkel before. My family vacationed in Hawaii every summer growing up. I had multiple chances to snorkel in the lagoon at the resort we always stayed at. It was a favorite activity for my dad and brother. One year I decided I wanted to join in. I was probably about 9 years old. I got into the shallow water, tried to put my head down, but as soon as the fish came near, I bolted in the opposite direction. Thinking about it, this could stem from the fact that I’m not an animal person. Nevertheless, me and fish didn’t mesh well from a young age.
It’s funny because I am such a beach person. I’m a beach person but for some reason I don’t really love the water. The idea of fish, the deep water and the unknown just don’t sit well with me. It doesn’t matter how clear the water is - I still don’t like it. So, how does someone with fears of the deep water and sea life go snorkeling?
You find a great tour company with an experienced staff and a great boat. That’s where Sail Maui comes into play.
Let’s be honest, there are quite a few tour companies you can choose from to go on a sailing or snorkeling adventure during your time on Maui. This was very apparent as we were walking down the pier searching for Sail Maui’s Paragon II. The major thing we noticed was that every other boat tour was jam-packed full of people. The boats were either stacked with people sitting shoulder to shoulder or had a good couple hundred aboard a larger boat. One thing I don’t like is large crowds of people, especially on vacation. We really lucked out on the day of our tour. We only had 11 people total on our boat.
We chose to explore Molokini Crater as it’s a top snorkeling destination. After an early morning arrival, you check in and board the stunning Paragon II. You’re treated to a continental breakfast that can be enjoyed while lounging on the front hammock areas of the catamaran. It took us just over an hour to sail to Molokini Crater so there was plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and digest or in my case prepare mentally for the adventure ahead. The great part about Sail Maui is that they provide all of the snorkel gear you could possibly need including pool floats to help you stay above water.
Right about now is when I got a bit more nervous about snorkeling. In preparation for this adventure, Nick had us do a test snorkel just days before in the shallow waters in front of our hotel. Thank god he did because after the captain informed us that the water was 30 feet deep, I had some doubts. I put on all the gear, got prepared and headed down the stairs into the water. I’m pretty sure I screamed a bit after the initial shock of looking down and seeing the 30 feet of open water beneath me. After a few seconds and lots of reminding myself to slow my breathing down, I realized, hey I’m snorkeling.
I think my mental toughness came out in full force because once I started believing there wasn’t a giant shark swimming behind me, I started to enjoy myself. I think my initial fears are really just stories I make up in my head of something going wrong, but if you take a second to take in the beauty of the scenery that all rushes away. I think the fact that I had a camera with me, also, was a great thing as it served as a distraction for me. I was focused on documenting my adventures and wanting to film the colorful coral.
After you’re done snorkeling, the crew sets out a delicious buffet lunch for you to enjoy while you sun bathe on the journey back into the harbor. Can I just say, I was expecting mediocre food on a boat, but Sail Maui pulled out all the stops and the food was fresh and delicious.
Moral of the story, if you don’t face your fears, you’ll never know if you’re missing out on something fun. I’m so happy that I was able to not only go snorkeling, but enjoy myself in the process.
Second moral of the story, next time you’re in Maui, choose Sail Maui to go on an awesome adventure on the water. They not only offer snorkeling tours at the Molokini Crater, but also sunset cruises, trips to Lanai and even whale watching tours. Check them out here or if you want to go on this snorkeling trip to Molokini Crater, click here.
Yours Truly // Shannon
*Sponsored Post: My tour was provided in collaboration with Sail Maui! All opinions are my own.