ʻAu I Nā Mokupuni ʻEkolu

Better channel swimming through shared knowledge

The annual ʻAu I Nā Mokupuni ʻEkolu 

Maui Nui SwimTM is a 3-day event that typically starts on the island of Maui, Hawaii, USA.  The goal of the challenge is simple: swim across the 3 channels that separate the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai over a 3-day period.*  

*Dates for 2024 are shown below.  Note: Only 1-2 sessions are generally held each calendar year.  Once 2 sessions are fully booked the event may be closed for the calendar year.  Preference is given to groups of 4 or more that apply with comparable swimming speed.  If you are a solo swimmer- you will be contacted once a group of swimmers matched for your speed is assembled.  For swimmers looking for a private session contact us directly.  When submitting an application please be sure to indicate your preference(s) for the swim windows listed below.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) small craft advisories for each channel are followed and during these advisories alternative swims of equivalent distance(s) may be offered.  Event dates span 4 days with the understanding that official swim days may be based on weather conditions.  This is a wild event.  Nature cannot be controlled.  There is no ocean craft and crew that can handle all ocean conditions.  Weather conditions are carefully monitored and determine what swims are available during the 4-day window.

The 8th Annual ʻAu I Nā Mokupuni ʻEkolu Maui Nui Swim

July 12-15, 2024 (Summer Session)

October 11-14, 2024 (Fall Session)

Complete the 3-day Challenge




Steven Minaglia's ʻAu I Nā Mokupuni ʻEkolu Maui Nui Swim is an adventure that benefits the minds and bodies of all those attempting it. Each swim presents a unique set of variables that requires the swimmer to be as fluid and dynamic as the water they are surrounded by. A meditative focus is soon entered, pushing the mind of the swimmer to a state of resonance with the surrounding nature of Hawaii’s waters. To interact with these incredible systems of nature has truly been some of the greatest experiences of my life. I highly encourage those who have any desire to attempt this challenge to do so, it will be a memorable life long achievement! Colby D. (2023)


Lets talk about a rough but gentle sea,

Lets talk about crystal blue,

Lets talk sea brotherhood,

Lets talk about flow.


That is ʻAu I Nā Mokupuni ʻEkolu Maui Nui Swim.


An adventure of 3 swimming days, with a group of swimmers that became adventure partners.  I had experience one-day long swims, but 3 days was new to me, and its worth it, and for sure challenging.  Although the weather conditions allowed us only one of the three channel crossings (Auau Channel – Maui to Lanai), Steven had in hand a wonderful plan B for the next two days.


First Day

Auau Channel gave me a sweet taste of Hawaiʻian flow: big waves, body surfing, the bluest and most crystal sea I had seen, some amazing shark sightseeing, and a magical arrival to Lanai. More time than expected but more time to enjoy!  Time: 8:40 hr/ 27,530 m (Aby´s Garmin)


Second Day

We swam from North Kihei to Makena.  Was not a channel crossing but as challenging as if.

Beautiful sightseeing.  Time 4:40/ 13,281 m (Aby´s Garmin)


Third Day

Just amazing. From Maluaka Beach to Molokini (a half crater/aquarium) in the sea, and back to Little Beach (“little clothing also”).  We reach Molokini and swam beside reefs and beautiful sea life.  Tourists go by boat, we did it swimming!!!!! Steven, this swim is a must!  Time 5:20/15,193 m (Aby´s Garmin)


Letʻs talk about Lahaina, Maui… I have such wonderful memories.  Lahaina will raise and stand as beautiful as always.


Thank you Steven for this wonderful experience.  Thank you my swimming partners: Melodee, B, Alessandra, Kelly, Niels, Ron and Daniel.  Thank you for helping us: Megan, Raúl, Karina and Bri.      Aby O. (2023)


Steven Minaglia’s 3-day 3-channel swim in Hawaii, which represents the third stage of the Triple Crown of Stage Swims, is the real deal but it is not for the faint-of-heart.  SCAR is cold and 8 Bridges is long, but the Maui Nui Swim is pretty tough as well.  To say it is beautiful is an understatement, but I will leave that to the word smiths.   For this old guy it was three surprisingly tough swims.  The distances are not intimidating, 9.3 miles, 8.8 miles and 8.5miles, but the conditions are.  The first day was Moloka’i to Lanai.  The sea was rough and choppy the whole way and a couple of the swimmers were able to body surf in the crystal-clear water but for me who came from Central Texas and had never learned to bodysurf, I was struggling.  Had it not been for Steven swimming at my side the entire way I wouldn’t have much of a story to tell.  Steven makes every effort to get all his swimmers across.  Moloka’i and Lanai have a population of a little over 7,000 and 3,000 respectfully but the areas where we started and finished on day one were completely uninhabited so it was almost like swimming in a time when dinosaurs ruled the land.  

The second day I woke up sunburned.  Not only was I sore but every area of my body was so sunburned it was very painful for my wife, Tina, to put any sunscreen on me.  Day 2 was Maui to Lanai.  The start was flat with no hint of any whitecaps or rough water.  At the start we had to manage swimming among surfers.  I just knew one of the surfers would hit me, but we all made it to the deep water unscathed.  Then the swells started coming in.  Not so much chop as it was big swells.  We inadvertently broke up into two groups mainly because I was unable to swim in a straight line.  After fighting the swells for a couple of hours I realized I had lost sight of all the swimmers and even lost sight of the escort boat.  Once I stopped and looked around, I realized I was completely alone.  I told myself it’s okay, don’t panic, I can make it, and then I heard Steven’s voice.  He had stayed behind with me.  I had lost sight of him, but he had his eyes on me the whole time swimming in my blind spot.   Steven said the others were about a mile ahead of us and he told the skipper of the Pualele to go up and tell them to wait for us.  That sounds simple but one of the women from Honolulu, who was just doing the Maui to Lanai swim, was getting cold.  I was almost nauseous from the heat, and I couldn’t believe anyone was cold in 79-degree water but I guess everyone is different.   At about midchannel we all were together again and after a feed I started out at what I thought was a pretty good pace until I heard someone shouting at me and saying I’m going to the wrong island.  I had mistaken Moloka’i for Lanai.   On shore Edie Markovich high fived me and said “oldest, youngest.” Then I saw the woman from Honolulu sitting on a piece of driftwood shivering uncontrollably.  We quickly swam back to the escort boat and that is how day 2 ended.  Day 3 was flat and uneventful except we all sang happy birthday to Edie who turned 16 on August 29, the day we swam for Maui to Moloka’i.   That moment I will treasure forever.  

I’m in my fifth decade of long-distance swimming and Steven Minaglia’s ‘Au I Na Mokupuni ‘Ekolu Maui Nui Swim is probably the most satisfying swimming event I have done to date.  Steven is 100% committed to getting everyone across safely, the cost of the event is very reasonable, the experienced crew of the Pualele know the 3 channels as well as anyone, and yes, it is truly paradise.  Jamie T. (2018, 2021)


Maui Nui is a magical swim in a magical place. It’s everything you could ask for in a swim adventure. You’ve got warm clear water, a well organized and supported swim, and three challenging but not overwhelming days of swimming.  It’s a swim not a race so if you’re trying to set a record you’re in the wrong place. If you’re looking for an awesome experience with a great group then you can’t do better than Maui Nui.  Joe Z. (2017, 2018, 2022)


What can I say? Steve Minaglia and the expert Captain and crew of the Pualele offer a world class 3-day open water swim. It is set in an Island Paradise and begins with a genuine respect for the Hawaiian culture, is instilled with a passion for open water swimming and guided by a lifetime knowledge of the Hawaiian waters. This is an adventure worthy of its great name… Maui Nui.

I was lucky enough to share it with some of my best friends. We experienced conditions ranging from flat water to 8ft swell and white caps; Portuguese man-o-war and an ever-present assortment of jellies; big fish and little fish; currents that pushed you this way and that; and a sun that wouldn’t quit. Steve was in his element. Amy and Abby seemed bullet proof. Sarah was hammered by a Man-O-War on day one, but never slowed down. I hit the wall on day two with back problems and overheating… if it weren’t for the support of my friends… I’m not sure I would have made it. But I broke through the wall and on day 3, we all crushed it. This swim tests your teamwork, resolve and character. It may be set in paradise, but it is the real deal!!!

Who wouldn’t love that?

As a good friend of mine said, “It’s the stupidest fun ever!” Kirk Mc. ~ AKA Mongo

 Mongo and the Mermaids ~ Maui Nui 2022


Swimming the 3 channels was one of the highlights of my life.  When Steve invited me to join him I didn't know if I could do it but when presented with a wonderful opportunity such as this I said, "yes" and just figured it out later!  It was definitely a challenging swim as Mother Nature threw us some wind, waves and strong currents.  We managed to muscle our way through it all and just grind it out.  I felt very safe as I was under Steve’s (and the crew’s) watchful eye.  Swimming from island to island each day and ultimately completing the third and final day is a memory that I will never forget.  Thank you again for the opportunity to make and be a part of this amazing experience.  Paul T. (2018, 2019, 2023)

Nature Calls. Will You Answer?

The Maui Nui Swim

Established 2017