hawaii shark tours

My Experience with Hawaii Shark Tours

The first time that I dove with sharks was a few years ago, with a group of friends that were visiting from the Mainland. Having lived in Hawaii for a few years at that point, one of my visitors expressed that he had to do this fun activity during his visit, and being the type that is always up for something new, I gladly agreed.

I had been to the North Shore more times than I could count, and had always wanted to try this, so this was the perfect chance. We arrived early in the morning to Haleiwa Harbor and met the Captain Crew that would be taking us out that day. The North Shore is an experience in itself, so just spending a day on the quaint shore, enjoying the scenery and eating at the food trucks is enough to justify making the trek, but once we arrived at the harbor, I knew we were in for a ton of fun.

We set out from the harbor, with an amazing view of Oahu behind us. You gain a whole new appreciation for the island when you take it in from the sea, and the farther out the boat travels, the more of the shoreline you can see. What feels like such a great distance from land really comes into focus from a boat, and you can really see that the distance between the surf beaches isn’t all that great.

During the boat ride out to the dive site, the Crew prepared us for what to expect, including the different sharks that we were likely to encounter, and answered out general questions about the experience. They quickly pointed out that there is no chumming of the water, which is a common misconception about these tours. They do not want to disrupt nature to make a buck, and are only taking advantage of the fact that sharks follow in the fishing boats, hoping to catch a scrap that may fall overboard.

Arriving at the dive site, the state of the art cage comes into focus, and before we could even stop, the sharks were circling! An incredible site, the sharks circled below, and were easily spotted when peering overboard. The adrenaline rush is indescribable, and before we knew it, we were in the water. At first, we weren’t sure that 15 minutes in the water would be enough, but once we were in there, battling the waves and constantly having to catch out breath, the time was more than plenty.

Even behind the bars of a shark cage, the fact that there were half a dozen or so sharks circling us sent a feeling through me that cannot be described. These are the most feared creatures in the entire ocean, and we were less than a foot from them. Their teeth clearly visible, we could have easily been a snack, but there was never a moment where any of the sharks tried to even approach the cage.

Diving with sharks is something that I will never forget, and think about often. Not only was the experience amazing, but the Captain and Crew were so helpful and friendly, and really helped to make the day one we will never forget. I cannot recommend this tour enough, and hope that everyone will give it a shot. It’s not nearly as scary as you think! And you can always tell your friends that you went diving with sharks in Hawaii!

-- Jason

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