The idea of being stuffed into neoprene, shoved in a cage, and lowered down from a boat in shark infested waters may seem fun only to the certified insane.
Yet, nature lovers, adrenaline junkies, and divers who want a shark encounter that doesn’t leave them minus a limb, are all clamoring for the chance to take a shark diving tour along the infamous North Shore of Oahu.
Here’s a brief overview of how the tours compare to each other.
The waters of Oahu and the North Shore are teeming with many kinds of sharks; from tiger sharks to sandbar sharks and reef sharks – cage dive tours in Oahu around these waters are sure to get you up close and having personal shark encounters with these toothy warriors of the deep sea, which is why they’re always a top rated Oahu tour.
Remember, if in doubt, there are plenty of things in life more likely to kill you than a shark!
What is Shark Diving in Hawaii?
Shark diving tours and cage dive tours in Hawaii aren’t as precarious as they sound.
Although don’t get us wrong, you need nerves of steel to allow yourself to jump off a boat into a sea full of sharks with only a cage between you.
The first thing to note when it comes to shark diving is that there are two different kinds of shark encounters you can book tours for.
One shark tour offers a cage dive- if the idea of some metal between you and Jaws helps you to heave a sigh of relief, then you should opt for cage diving. Yet there are also boat tours that offer visitors the chance to go free diving with sharks. Yep no cage included.
Depending on what kind of shark tour experience you want, this will help you determine the right tour. You can push yourself to the limit with shark cage diving on the North Shore of Oahu to see reef sharks, sandbar sharks, and even the occasional hammerhead shark or tiger shark down in the depths of the sea.
Or you can opt to take a boat tour from the shore, without the shark cage, and simply dive alongside Galapagos sharks and reef sharks, sea turtles and other mesmerizing examples of Hawaiian marine life.
The waters around Hawaii offer some of the most incredible sights in the world; with rich coral reefs, scores of tropical fish, sunlight bouncing of the surface, and endless skies of blue. You couldn’t imagine a more perfect sight for taking a boat ride. Even if you do end up in a cage, face to face with a shark.
Why Go Shark Diving in Hawaii?
There are so many awesome reasons to go shark diving along the North Shore of Oahu. The experience to see sharks in their natural habitat is truly one of those once in a lifetime type of gigs. Not only will you see the breathtaking views of the sea from your boat, but you also get the chance to go cage diving longside the most feared creatures of the deep.
Sharks are a mystery of the wild and wonderful ocean, and can be found along the North Shore of Oahu– immortalized by myth and little understood. Getting the chance to dive from a boat into the water and see these creatures in the freedom of their natural habitat (even if you are in a shark cage) can help you to understand them better.
Along with the excitement of shark diving and the adrenaline of a personal encounter, even the boat journey out to the North Shore of Oahu is mind-blowing.
From the boat, you have the chance to see an array of Hawaiian marine life- including humpback whales if the season is right. You can usually see whales from the boat, off the North Shore and in the waters of Oahu between November and May.
Shark tours are not just about the adrenaline of diving with sharks, but also about learning about these black-eyed beings and their natural habitat. Both the boat tours and cage diving tours are often run by marine life experts who will be able to fill you in on many fascinating details such as sharks having a sixth sense and the ability to kill with their eyes closed.
A good shark diving tour follows the rules of eco-tourism, putting the shark’s welfare and education of Hawaiian marine life first. That’s not to say that cage diving and scuba diving tours with sharks aren’t adrenaline fueled too!
The waters of Oahu’s North Shore boast a bounty of life – from the fanned tails of humpback whales to the iridescent green shells of the Hawaiian green sea turtle. The ocean around Oahu is a paradise for sharks thanks to its rich marine life and warm waters of the Pacific.
On a shark tour, you can expect to see hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, reef sharks, and sandbar sharks all in their natural habitat far from the golden shores.
What If I Have Never Been Shark Diving in Hawaii Before?
Unless you happen to be Richard Dreyfuss in a Spielberg movie, then odds are you haven’t spent a large chunk of your life in a shark cage beneath the ocean.
Or swimming with the sharp toothed critters.
In fact, you may not have even been on a boat in shark infested waters.
Shark diving tours are a relatively new phenomenon so don’t feel as though you are the only one debating just staying on the boat when it comes to crunch time on tour.
You don’t need to be experienced at scuba diving. On some shark tours the cage is only partially submerged and you use snorkeling masks as opposed to full scuba diving gear. For the tours where you swim with sharks you will also use fins and a snorkel mask normally, rather than carrying oxygen tasks like those who go deep sea scuba diving.
People of all ages can take shark dive tours as long as you are fit and healthy and normally above 4ft. 4ft isn’t even a snack for these guys!
What to Expect from Shark Diving in Hawaii
Your shark tour will normally start with a boat ride out to the chosen spot along the North Coast of Oahu. Keep your eyes on the horizon while on the boat to witness a humpback whale journeying through the open ocean.
You can even peer over the side of the boat and see the shadows of sharks moving beneath, along with sea turtles and other exotic Hawaiian marine life. Most dive sites won’t be too far from the sandy shore, but with enough distance to truly see the sharks in their natural habitat.
Once at the spot your guide will probably tell you about the sharks that live in these waters. You can find out about tiger sharks, reef sharks, sandbar sharks, and hammerhead sharks. The cage is often placed in the water but not completely submerged. The waters of the North Shore and Oahu boast beautiful blue visibility reaching up to 200-400 ft.
All kinds of sharks are sure to pass by your cage– feel a shiver down your spine as you come face to face with the inky black eyes of a hammerhead shark, marvel at the size of the grey reef shark, and feel your heart skip a beat as a tiger shark gets close to the cage. These are the shark encounters that only happen once in a lifetime!
Shark diving tours are more than a cheap adventure thrill, it’s an experience that brings you closer to the force of nature, and that helps to protect the sharks that dart around the waters of Oahu and the North Shore.
Remember, for those of you that lose your nerve on the shark diving tour you can always just hang out in the boat and watch the wonders of whales, sharks and sea turtles from the safety of the deck. And maybe next time try something gentler like snorkeling.
Literally the best experience ever! Took a group of 10 and we had a blast. The guys are the ship are hilarious and make you feel so comfortable. Ryan was the besssssst! We pulled up pretty early for our 7 am ride and Ryan greeted us. We had a blast and I wish I could do it again and again. The sharks we saw were awesome and we got awesome footage from the guys and even hats! Such a good experience, I would recommend it to anyone! even non-shark lovers. P.S. People do get sick haha so take some medsssssss