A Thrilling Shark Cage Dive!
Haleiwa – Oahu, Hawaii
“Getting Up Close and Personal with Hawaii’s Sharks“
Oahu is Hawaii’s most visited and well-known island with numerous activities, water sports and luxury resorts. As soon as I found out there was an opportunity to. . As soon as I found out there was an opportunity to get in the water with sharks it became the most anticipated part of my entire trip to the island. Although I’ve been scuba diving for years I’ve only seen sharks on a handful of occasions, most of them small reef sharks… and up to this point I was fairly glad as I still have a healthy fear of those razor sharp teeth. Knowing I’d be observing sharks safely from inside a cage was a great logical next step to becoming more comfortable around them and getting to enjoy their presence without fear.
After a long plane ride and a night of relaxing I woke early and headed up to the North Shore to meet with Hawaii Shark guys (YOU CAN BOOK YOUR SHARK TOUR HERE). After a safety briefing and talks about the sharks we headed out sea with a nearly full boat and a big cage in tow.. during the 3 mile ride out to sea there was plenty of time to get excited about what was going to happen next! Right away we began spotting sharks just below the surface and the cage was dropped into the water. The first group of us plunged into the cage and the real fun began.
The cage is large enough for quite a few people – they put in up to 7 at a time, luckily we didn’t have a full boat and the first group of us was only 5 in at a time. With large clear plexiglass plates there was plenty of space to watch the sharks come and go. They weren’t shy, swimming right up to the cage, below and around it during our entire 25 minutes in the water. We observed 8 or more good sized Galapagos sharks, all of which were calm and swimming along us slowly.. no attacking or biting the cage like you see on TV and movies.
Galapagos sharks are the most commonly seen here and they can get up to 10+ feet and over 400 lbs in size! None of the ones we viewed were quite that big but they were impressive anyway. Getting to see these sharks in their habitat with natural behavior was priceless to me, they are majestic and beautiful creatures of the ocean.
Being inside the cage is quite fun.. there are bars to hold onto inside the cage so you don’t need have any hands or limbs hanging out. The open water 3 miles off shore is a little wavy and the cage bumped against the boat from time to time. If you’re prone to sea sickness as one of the people on our boat was you might find yourself sick. At the time everyone in the cage with me was too busy having an amazing time to notice. Check me out below trying to get the perfect shot while holding on tightly!
Responsible Ecotourism and Conservation
As a lover of the ocean and sea life it’s important to me to participate in tours with companies that have a good reputation for doing things with minimal impact on the environment and local sea life populations. Hawaii Shark Encounters’ cage keeps tourists and sharks safe from each other and gives you the opportunity to observe sharks in a natural way. They’re also part of shark conservation efforts, and give back to the local community through several programs. These are the kind of people I feel good about supporting and allow all of us to have fun responsibly and with a good conscience. If you’re visiting Oahu don’t miss this amazing experience!
It’s estimated that 100 million sharks are killed every year; many needlessly caught in fishing nets, by illegal trolling or inhumanely slaughtered for their fins. Tours like these help raise awareness that sharks are an important part of the marine ecosystem and not simply mindless killers.
Want to see more photos from this thrilling tour?
View the Shark Cage Photo Gallery Here
- Tour Info
- Tips & Advice
- Website: KLOOK
- Take motion sickness prevention pills before going out.
- Wear a swimsuit.
- Bring a towel, it can be cold after getting out.
- Take the early tour if you can, the water is calmer in the morning.
Wow such a nice experience. The cage is a better choice for entering the water. Thanks for posting nice photos.
I saw this this type of cage in a movie under water. It’s really a great experience for divers.
This is absolutely crazy man! You are so brave, but I guess I would do the same =).
Don’t have to be brave when you have the protection of a big metal cage. Contrary to a lot of belief not all sharks are very dangerous.. the galapagos sharks have only been recorded biting 2 people ever. You have a much higher chance of being bit by a chihuahua 🙂
This is an amazing experience! Diving among sharks is really exciting!!
Ah I’m so jealous! Hawaii is top of our travel bucket list and swimming with sharks is up there too! We tried to do it in Australia but it was too complicated 🙁
I have ALWAYS wanted to dive with sharks! You have inspired me! Amazing photos – thanks for sharing 🙂
Oh, I just love diving and in Hawaii too! I also love sharks and the best I have seen is diving with a school of hammerheads in the Solomon Islands. I am not a huge fan of the cage diving and chumming for sharks. I know you touched on the Eco friendly, but I am not sure if that would be for me. I am sure it is incredible and gets you amped up for sure. Not to mention you are likely much safer, but I still think I would like to just dive. Thanks for sharing and great photos too. Hawaii is a wonderful place.
There is no chumming here – the sharks are in the same place each day, no need to lure them in.
Also, I’ve been told that the bubbles we exhale diving or possibly the metal tanks involved in scuba can scare sharks away quickly. The only time they’ve ever been close to me was snorkeling. Diving with hammerheads.. that’s on my bucket list for sure!
This is one of the activities I want to try in my life! I loved safari because it’s amazing to see animals in their natural habitat, just as you wrote. I guess I would love cage diving just the same! 🙂
I’m not sure I would be brave enough! I’ve snorkeled with nurse sharks and rays but not real big killers like these! It looks very exciting and you seem so close. Great photos!
These guys are still relatively small and harmless compared to the real big boys of the sea.. and you have the cage to keep you safe 🙂
I did this dive with my son and my sister in law, that is petrfied of sharks. It turned out to be the highlight of her trip and eased all of our minds about sharks in general. Like you said there was no aggression at all, just calm swimming. I felt so comfortable I was ready to get out of the cage and give them a pet, heck even a hug! I know, not allowed or good for them, but I swear I would have if given the opportunity! Glad you got to have the experience!
This is so freakin cool!! I’m going to bookmark this for future reference.
I did a cage dive in South Africa with great whites! That was an awesome experience! I’d like to do it in Hawaii too to compare. We used snorkels because they said tanks might disturb the sharks. Our tour was also conscious about the well being of the sharks, so I was happy about that too.
This looks awesome! Very cool pics, what camera are you using in the cage?
Thanks Elaine! A Canon point and shoot with an underwater case.