On the east end of Molokai, the snorkeling at Kumimi Beach is considered to be world class by locals but may disappoint others. Also known as Murphy's Beach or Twenty Mile Beach, it is also one of the prettiest beaches on the island with palm trees lining the beachfront. The water is protected by the closely approaching fringing reef and the water is shallow. It is go...
On the east end of Molokai, the snorkeling at Kumimi Beach is considered to be world class by locals but may disappoint others. Also known as Murphy's Beach or Twenty Mile Beach, it is also one of the prettiest beaches on the island with palm trees lining the beachfront. The water is protected by the closely approaching fringing reef and the water is shallow. It is good for beginner snorkelers and families. While the Kumimi Beach snorkeling spot is protected, the water is even more calm during the summer months, but can still be rough. Beyond the reef, the waves kickup quickly and there is some cross current. The cross current comes close to shore at high tide running southwest from left to right across the beach.
Kumimi Beach Park is located off Highway 450 on the east coast of Molokai. It is located just east of George Murphy Beach Park (unsigned). There is unsided roadside parking just past the milepost 20 marker.
While Molokai does have several good shore-accessed snorkeling spots, the best Molokai snorkeling is found off-shore along the 25 mile fringing reef. This coral reef crests about a half-mile off the southern and eastern coastline; the northwest wavefronts are too powerful for fringing reefs along the northern and western coastline. There are extremely healthy corals and excellent water clarity just outside the crest. The reef consists of green lobe coral, antler coral, cauliflower coral, finger coral and blue rice coral. From the Kaunakakai Harbor on the south coast, there is a snorkel boat tour that regularly heads out to one of 25+ dive sites on the fringing reef, usually in the morning when the winds are calms. It is a 20-35 minute boat ride out to the snorkel spots where the mooring is in 8-12 foot deep water. The water clarity ranges from 50 to 150 feet and the water temperature ranges from 70 to 80 degrees. The best time of year is from May through September. During Molokai snorkeling, you may encounter spinner dolphins, green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, octopus, butterflyfish, parrotfish, wrasse, surgeonfish, triggerfish and the occasional monk seal.
To reach the snorkeling on Molokai, you'll need to arrive on island by an interisland flight from Oahu provided by Hawaiian Airlines. There are several flights per day. While there used to be a ferry boat service from Lanai and Maui, it was discontinued in October 2016. It is best to rent a car to explore the various snorkeling spots, but keep in mind there is only one national rental car agency at the airport and one locally run rental car company. When planning a trip to the Hawaiian islands, be aware that the State Of Hawaii has banned all sunscreens that oxybenzone, which has been proven to kill coral reefs.
Overall, Kumimi Beach is the 5th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 11 snorkeling dives in Molokai.
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