When I was a freshman in high school on Maui, I used to join in on the full moon tide pool explorations hosted by the marine biology departments of the public high schools. Equipped with headlamps and flashlights, we would search the reefs (exposed during low tides) for nocturnal critters. I can easily say that I saw more forms of marine life on those nights than the countless days I have spent snorkeling Maui’s coastlines.
From taco (octopus) to puhi (eel), there was always something new and exciting to see in the shallow waters. I learned about certain species of marine wildlife that tend to remain hidden and inactive during the day, yet burst to life come sundown. Now tourists can share in a similar evening experience through a tour offered by the Pacific Whale Foundation.
For only $10, you can book a “Moonlight Tidepool Exploration” tour, which is hosted by marine naturalists and educators. Although I have not been on this tour myself, I do know that it takes place on the same shallow reef between Kihei and Ma’alaea where I participated in my own tide pool adventures. Enjoy hands-on encounters with brittle stars, urchins, sea cucumbers, octopus, reef fish, and more! Your children will be darting from one naturalist to the next as new marine creatures are discovered. Bring the camera!
Because this tour requires a full moon, it is only offered about twice a month, so be sure to check the Pacific Whale Foundation event calendar for dates.
[Photo source: www.pacificwhale.org]