We were out for a walk one morning on the north side of Kaanapali beach and saw a group of people getting geared up for spearfishing. My 16 year old daughter commented on how much fun that looked, so I talked briefly with the guide who gave me the company information. Because we were only on island for another couple days, I didn't think we'd be able to get in, but to my surprise, they called one of their guides who was scheduled to be off and he was able to fit us in, which was awesome.
Keoki, our guide turned out to be one of the coolest people we've had the pleasure of meeting on our trips to the island. Even though we were both very comfortable in the water (PADI divers), diving without air is an entirely different world. Keoki took the time to teach us what we needed, made us feel safe, taught us all about the equipment we were using, the fish we were looking for, why we wanted to take the grouper and snapper and also taught us about being responsible for the resource we were about to use. It was so neat to hear him share his 30+ years of experience of fishing and hunting, much of it with his brother and how it impacts their lives. Those stories and experiences gave this trip a very personal feel and it quickly became more to us than a tour we happened to book. The actual in-water time was even more enjoyable. The first location he wanted to try was too rough (not for him), but he took us to a much calmer location, which made for a much better first experience. We got in the water, did some skill work to figure out what we would be able to handle and then we got busy. We spotted several octopus, which he pulled up to let us handle and learn about. We saw all kinds of fish, eels and turtles and headed out to about 30-40 feet of water where we started hunting. My daughter, the sharpshooter, went 2 for 2 on her shots. Dad, well, went 0-2 with several of the fish doing the "Matrix" move to avoid my spear - at least that's what we're saying - because it couldn't be my aim :) We fished for several hours, explored a cool wall, a grotto and had an awesome time. We came back with six fish and a nice octopus! The entire time, Keoki made sure that safety was #1, encouraged us, laughed a lot and generally had a blast with us. We were truly blessed to have had such a great guide.
If you're looking for something a little more than the standard island tours, want a little adventure and want to learn more about the islands, don't wait to give Maui Spearfishing Academy a call and book a trip, you won't regret it. It's one of the best things I've ever done on a vacation!
To Keoki, our guide, I'm not sure why you would ever leave (even for a second), but if you (or your family) ever end up travelling to Minnesota, consider yourself 'ohana and we'll gladly repay your kindness. Mahalo!
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