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Beach Loading 101

The Adventure is Part of the Experience

What You Need To Know

Here are the important points you need to know before coming out with Kai Kanani:

  • What to wear: We recommend swimwear on all of our trips, including our Adventure Sunset Sail. Clothes that can be worn over swimwear are great, but you’ll want to take those off when you board and disembark the vessel. Once onboard, feel free to put clothes over your swimwear.
  • Footwear: You will be asked to walk barefoot across the sand before boarding to ensure that a sneaky wave won’t take your shoes off or they don’t inhibit your progress as you step onto Kai Kanani II. Once onboard, feel free to wear your footwear. 
  • Towels: We ask that you bring your towels to our snorkel tours. It’s also good to keep a towel in your car or an extra in your bag for when you disembark.

It’s important to remember that the ocean is a wild place. Depending on the weather, you might only get wet up to your ankles, or on a fun day, you will be wet up to your waist or more. Basically, come dressed in beach attire and wear something you don’t mind getting wet. It’s a big part of the adventure, so come prepared!

The Beach Load Experts

Beach loading has its challenges: it takes experienced captains and crew to ensure the tour is fun and safe. Kai Kanani has been at it for more than 30 years and has the most experienced beach-loading crew on the island, with each one specially trained to deal with the specific conditions that occur at pristine Maluaka Beach.

a large ship in a body of water

  • The crew will have you form two lines for our two boarding steps.
  • The crew will point out any potential hazards, such as the white cross beam that taller passengers will need to duck under.
  • The crew is there to assist you with bags, children, and adults who need a hand.
  • You’ll hear our crew giving instructions. Please listen to them! They might see something you don’t. If they say, “Stop!” it’s for a good cause.
  • If you need any assistance, ask! That’s what we do best.

While going up and down the ladder, most people are so excited looking down at the water that they forget to look up.  As you’re boarding the ladder, grab onto those metal handrails with both hands and make sure to avoid the cross beam above you.

We also welcome you to bring your phone, camera, electronic keys, etc., but first, make sure they are not in your pockets. As you know, water and electronics are not friends.  We highly recommend you bring a waterproof bag to put these items in. If you do not have one, don’t worry; we are happy to provide you with a small plastic bag before the tour begins.  If you have a waterproof camera – even better.  Be sure to hold those bags nice and high as you are walking through the water.

For the discerning adventurer, the Beach Load is an incredible experience, and many guests find it the most fun part of their day on their Maui vacation. Want to come to find out for yourself? Choose your tour today! We look forward to seeing you on board!

Why Do We Beach Load?

Maui is a paradise for sea life, for birds, for the myriad of plants that are fortunate to call this fertile soil home, and most of all, for people, both locals and visitors alike. But for boats, Maui, and Hawaii in general, can be a rough place to hang your line.

Why? Maui has a very limited amount of harbor space, with only three available on the entire island, with Maalaea Harbor on the west side of the Kahului Valley and Lahaina Harbor each hosting about 100 slips for commercial and private vessels. To round it off, Kahului Harbor takes the vast majority of the island’s supply ships as well as cruise ships and other large vessels. There are around 200 boat slips on the entire island of Maui.

This leaves South Maui harborless and its stunning reefs harder to access for eager snorkelers, especially those who opt for the more comfortable catamaran experience versus the small snorkel raft. Most cruises looking to snorkel at Molokini Crater, the small islet between South Maui and Kaho’olawe, and the island’s most famous snorkeling spot, come from Maalaea, 14 miles away, forcing an upwind sail back at the end of the day, taking over an hour. Stories of sea-sick tourists at Maalaea Harbor in the mid-afternoon are common. But you don’t have to be one of them!

Because of this, our passengers enjoy a much more exclusive experience, snorkeling Molokini Crater alone on the Sunrise Deluxe Snorkel, the only vessel to do so on Maui, and an incredibly relaxed experience on the Signature Deluxe Snorkel, our most popular tour. Our passengers snorkel the same amount as other boats but spend less time sailing upwind and battling seasickness. And what if you just want to enjoy a South Maui sunset from the water? We’ve got you covered with our Adventure Sunset Sail.