WELLES HARBOR / LAGOON
PATCH REEFS 15 to 50 feet
Numerous patch reefs
within the lagoon are home to a variety of hard corals and associated fishes,
mollusks, and lobsters. Bottom composition varies from massive coral heads to
rubble and sand. Despite lower water clarity in the lagoon (25 to 50 feet),
divers may encounter Spinner dolphins, Manta rays, Eagle rays, Monk seals, and
Tiger Sharks at any time. Rarely dived since much better can be expected at the
Cargo Pier and outside the barrier reef. Fifteen
to thirty minutes from the harbor.
SNORKELING WITHIN THE LAGOON
3 to 15 feet
Beginner - Intermediate
The majority of Midway’s lagoon shallows are sand
and rubble, with large patches of ancient limestone with a few living corals.
The best location for snorkeling is located to the northeast, adjacent to the
emergent barrier reef. The sheltered waters here provide the best conditions for
Lobe, Cauliflower, and Purple Rice Corals to survive the harsh winter surf and
low water temperatures. Along with colorful corals, snorkelers encounter
colorful butterflyfishes, big Spectacled Parrotfishes, Bluespined Unicornfishes,
tangs, goatfishes, wrasses, Spotted Eagle Rays, bright red Slate-Pencil Urchins,
and occasional Hawaiian Monk Seals. During periods of high surf the
current can be very strong.