Shark Diving Hawaii – with cage or without? Is it worth your money? Daniels Hawaii, a Tour Company in Hawaii tested the Shark Dive on Oahu for you. Long story short – it’s definitely an adventure and a great start in the day.
There are multiple companies on Oahu offering Shark Dives. Click here to see an overview of the companies offering shark dives in Hawaii. All of them start in Haleiwa, a little town up on the North Shore of Oahu. Some of the companies that offer shark dives use cages, others don’t. We wanted to go ALL IN and choose to dive with sharks without a cage between them and us.
The company we choose for our shark dive adventure is called “One Ocean Diving”. They offer the shark dive without cage on Oahu, calling it The Pelagic Shark Snorkel.
Shark Dive Departure Point
The boat leaves at Haleiwa harbor, which is about a 60-90 minute drive starting in Waikiki, depending on the traffic. Traffic on Oahu is horrible so please keep that in mind when you plan your trip. They don’t have a shuttle, so you might want to rent a car on Oahu and make it a whole day at the North Shore to make the most out of it.
Checking in and boat ride to the sharks
Our boat was supposed to leave Haleiwa harbor at 12pm, so we were told to be there at least 15 minutes earlier. Makes perfect sense, because we had to sign a waiver once we got to the One Ocean Diving booth. Also it takes a few minutes to put sunscreen on and get comfortable on the boat. They provide fins and masks as well as a snorkel for free. We brought our own GoPro and they were so kind to lend us a GoPro Stick since we forgot ours.
We left Haleiwa harbor as soon as all 6 guests were on the boat. They only take out small groups to the shark dive to make sure everybody is safe.
During our about 15-20 minute boat ride out on the open ocean, the crew held a briefing. We highly recommend to listen because they tell you what you should not do around the sharks so they don’t attack you – we think that’s kind of important to most people. 😉
After the briefing the researcher on the boat tells you more about the sharks in Hawaii and the animals itself. We found that very interesting. For example; did you know that sharks can smell?
Shark Diving – No cage shark dive in Hawaii
Once we got to the location where the sharks were, we were immediately able to see them. They came up to the boat and yes, it was scary but also exciting.
After a short briefing how to climb the ladder down and up and where we are allowed next to the boat and where we should not be, we were ready to get into the water.
Once everybody is in the water you hold on to a rope that is attached to the boat. After a few minutes the captain asks everybody individually if they want to swim out and try to dive with the sharks – HELL YEAH!
The crew is in the water the whole time, making sure you don’t swim to far away from the boat. They also keep the sharks away from you in case one gets a little bit to curious and swims up to you. Unfortunately we didn’t have that problem.
How close do the sharks get during a shark dive?
This is of course different every single time. Sharks are animals and not there for our amusement, but because they are curious who enters their living room. This is very important to understand, because the sharks might come very close to you… but they also might not! It’s pretty much a hit and miss.
Prior to our shark dive on Oahu, we heard stories of 30 sharks surrounding the boat, the crew swimming in between the sharks and the guests, making sure everybody is safe. So we pictured us being very close to the sharks on our trip as well. Yeah, well… like already mentioned, nature doesn’t work that way.
Whenever we were in the water the sharks were at least 30-50 feet away. They came a little closer every time the captain would run the engine, because of the vibration and sound. The sharks would get curious and come up and see what’s going on. As soon as the engine was turned off again, they lost interest and slowly went back down.
During the boat ride we were told that the sharks identify us as alpha animals, because we are at the top of the water, above them. We are also not part of their diet, another reason why we are not that interesting to them. So, not really a reason to come up and check us out. We were also told that during the tour that went out in the morning they were more curious and came up closer.
After we left the water the sharks came to the surface – AMAZING! Check out the end of the Shark Diving Hawaii Video!
Shark Dive Oahu – Yes or No?
Long story short, YES.
Even though our expectations were higher, because we thought we would be closer to the sharks, it was still a fun trip. The whole tour takes about 3 hours. You are in the water for about an hour. The boat ride to the spot or from the spot back to Haleiwa harbor takes about 20-25 minutes.