Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shark Diving for Travel Tuesday

This week for Travel Tuesday I am going to take you on one of my favorite adventures.  Shark Diving, off the North Shore in Oahu, Hawaii.



These are the exact photo's taken during my dive, some were taken by me, others I took off a video they took of me while I was diving, I paid to have the rights for the video and pictures.  But this will also explain if the images look stretched, as the program I use to grab images from video doesn't work perfectly.



First off let me say, if you ever have the chance to do this, do it!  It's a beautiful and amazing experience, that if you enjoy the water, and enjoy sharks you will love this!  Sharks are beautiful and graceful creatures, I have always been amazed by them.



If you are going to go shark diving, there are many places you can do this.  I did mine on North Shore Adventures in Oahu, Hawaii.  But I also know there are places in the Caribbean as well as many others.
Cage diving, which is what I did, is completely safe.  Well as long as you keep your arms and legs inside:)



If you are going to go shark diving, early, morning is best!  And I do mean early 6-7 a.m., we loaded onto the boat before the sun was even starting to rise.  Why early morning?  Sharks are most active at night, so they are just coming off their nightly feeding hunts and the boats and divers are more likely to attract sharks in the morning than they will in the afternoon hours.



Another tip, if you are vacationing in say Oahu for a week, plan your dive at the beginning of the week.  Weather makes a big factor for shark dives.  Ours was cancelled, and re-scheduled twice, and finally on our 6th day of the trip the weather permitted the diving.



However, it was very wavy when we went.  We were lucky they still let the boat go out, as the swells were at times larger than the boat as we headed a few miles out off the North Shore.
It was also super strong waves getting into the cages that day, the cage was banging all over the place.  I know the weather is not something you can control, but if there was anything else I could have changed it would have been the waves.  It would have been nicer to be a little more in control of where you were getting pushed in the waves.

I mentioned it was wavy.  This is the view as we were let out on the lines
that let the cage float out away from the boat.  Kinda hard to see, but those waves
and swells were what a surfer would call double overhead:)

But once under the water, it wasn't quite as bad, and I had the bars on the cage to hold onto as the waves and currents were pushing against us.
The other bad thing about the waves and current, there was no chance they were going to let me out of the cage:(  Yes, I would love to free dive with sharks, I will one day I think it will be amazing!

This was when we first dropped in as we were getting released out by the boat.
Right from the minute the cage went in, and then we dropped into the water
we were surrounded by sharks!


We were surrounded by 4-5 sharks the entire time, all of which I believe to my knowledge were Sandbar.  However, you also have the chance to see Galapagos, Hammerhead and occasionally Tiger Sharks.  I would have loved to see a Tiger shark.... Maybe next time!!!



The sharks think the boats are fishing boats, which is what draws them to them.
It's actually illegal to shark dive in Hawaii, they don't want the sharks getting friendly with their tourist business.  Which is why, you can only do it off the North Shore, and they do take you out about 4 miles out of Hawaiian waters, and into I guess what would be International waters, to keep with obeying the shark diving laws there.



When you pay to do this, they will provide you with the gear and fins.  You don't necessarily have to bring your own.  Also, they have masks for those who wear glasses, so you will still be able to see everything and not have to bring those.  I know this because, my dad chose these.



What's it like?
Cobalt Blue clear water.  You can see they say for about 150 feet.  You will see the sharks coming from below and in the distance, it's a beautiful sight to see them from far away swimming toward you.
The sharks come right up next to the cage.  They are inches or just a foot or so away as they glide past you.
It's amazing!  It's also peaceful!



Our tour lasted about 2 hours, and because it was Humpback Whale season (March) when I went, as we headed back to the harbor, we saw lots and lots of whales all around us jumping and playing.



Like I said, if you have the chance I highly recommend you do this!  It's not exactly cheap, but it definitely beats any other beach stories and pictures you can take on your Oahu trip.
Take a waterproof camera, and if your interested go ahead and get a video if it is offered, it's fun to look back and watch your cage dive.

I am one of the 3 people in the cage.  So ya that's me back by his tale.
I was fine that there are no good shots of me under water, LOL
As long as the sharks turned out that's all that mattered!

Oh and don't wait as long as I did to develop your camera pictures.
The one on the bottom is what happens if you don't get them developed right after:)
Just a little tip!


Have you been shark diving before?  Would you?
If you're going to Oahu, definitely something to add to your list, don't you agree?




2 comments :

  1. It's so crazy because my boyfriend and I were talking about being afraid of sharks the other day! I never thing animals are intentionally out to hurt us, mostly just to survive or protect themselves. I didn't even know this was a thing! Weren't you scared at all? The sharks didn't try to attack you?

    I would definitely need to research more about the safety of this to convince my boyfriend and myself to do this! Super cool you got to see one of your favorite animals in its natural habitat! I really want to see whales and harp seals as they are and not in a place like the zoo. They allow you to free swim with sharks!? How does this work since sharks are known to attack :0?

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  2. Actually no, I wasn't afraid at all. I was just beyond excited to do it. I would have gotten out of the cage if they allowed me to. But that particular day the currents were too strong so I had to stay inside.
    One day I hope to do a free dive with them, I saw one in the Bahama's where you actually get to hold food out and feed them. I did see that sometimes they go after and start attacking the person feeding but if you keep your arms and legs close the metal gear you wear protects you for the most part. I know it sounds a little crazy, but I can't wait to do that one day and although there is probably something very wrong with me, I don't have much fear about trying it either, LOL
    But ya you can free dive with sharks, rarely do sharks attack in these situations, usually shark attacks are along shorelines when they mistake a swimmer or surfer for a seal.


    Truthfully, in the cage it is very safe. I mean I guess there is some risk, but there would be no business in it if it wasn't safe. So ya if you ever get the change, throw your fear to the wind and go for it. It's just so amazing, they are so beautiful and graceful in the water when you are face to face with them!

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