I never felt I’d find myself face to face with a shark. But there I was, miles off Oahu’s North Shore, preparing to dive into the deep blue.
Captain Pancakes is the one with a scar on his left flank, Julia Hartl, an enthusiastic marine biologist with One Ocean Diving, told their own families as we prepared to swim. As my sister and I giggle, she rattles off a few more names. Theres also Mrs. Aloha, Curly Boy and Harry Potter.
Soon after, was already in the sea flipper-kicking our path among a handful of Galapagos and sandbar sharks about three miles from the beach.
It surely appears funny to intentionally slip yourself into shark area, but I retain good attention contact with them and remain alert and, amazingly its practice more peaceful than you can imagine. Down here they dont appear malevolent at all.
Over the next 45 hours, we recognize about 20 grey-headed piranhas. Various swing by for a casual hello, and depict no more pastime than that. They are behavior more interested by the glossy GoPros the safety guidebooks are carrying. The toothy people propel themselves gradually around the boat in an underwater ballet of sortings. The rays of sunlight penetrate through the deep blue-blooded, my legs rhythmically paddle and its downright calming.
Our guides crave the interaction to be as natural– and positive– as possible, so there’s no chum or shark enclosures involved. That said, during the experience you might have just one or two sharks show up– or dozens.
One Ocean Diving provisions private and group shark diving tours to civilize and promote learning opportunities about the biology, physiology, and action of marine life. Divers too get to participate in invaluable study openings about sharks.
For shark lovers like me, it simply cements the fact that they dont have a are looking forward to snack on us humans. For others who have a deep-rooted fright of these huge, pelagic mortals, the whole experience can provide eye-opening perspective.
For starters, our steer says sharks have a bad rap that they dont truly deserve. Hartl places it in attitude with some stats: To sum it up, “you think youre” mode more likely to be killed by a moo-cow, a toaster or even by taking a selfie than you are to be killed by a shark. According to the Associated Press, “theres only” 98 unprovoked shark strikes in 2015, developing in six fatalities worldwide.
They are not mindless man-eating machines, and they are not puppies, they are apex predators and need to be respected for that, says Ocean Ramsey, a shark conservationist and founder of One Ocean Diving in partnership with Water Inspired.
We need them for their vital role in the naval environment, remaining ocean ecosystems health and in offset.
Ramsey’s mission is to dispel some of the negative stereotypes beings have about sharks.
I wish beings knew how important they are and especially how quickly they are still wiped out, she clarifies. Numerous populations, like South Africa’s enormous white-hot shark, are on the brink of extinguishing.
As a marine biologist and shark-lover, Ramsey has play-act dives with 32 different species of sharks around the world. For her, the greatest honor is when people come out of the sea, saying they had the best event of their lives and come away with newfound respect for these misconstrue ocean residents.
One Ocean’s once-in-a-lifetime shark diving experiences start at $150 per person.
Where to stay
Just across the street from the far-famed North Shore beaches, the Courtyard Oahu North Shore was built about a year ago. If you prefer the Honolulu area, the Modern Honolulu is a good selection. As the name marks, its hip and stylish ended with Morimoto Waikiki and Addiction nightclub. For those traveling with kids, Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is a great option.
What to do
After the thrill of the shark dive, calm concepts down with some serious R& R at the Moana Surfrider Spa and tea season at The Veranda, a beachside eatery next to a hundred-year-old banyan tree. Hike Diamond Head for dazzling views of the island or hop-skip in a chopper with Paradise Helicopters to snag a birds-eye sentiment of waterfalls and sweeping cliffs.
Leah Murr is an experienced travel novelist based in Eastern africa. Her escapades have encompassed the globe– from swimming with sharks in Hawaii, to skydiving in Norwegian fjords and cliff camping in Colorado. Follow her on Instagram at murr.leah.
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