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Shark Diving in Maui and Oahu

Cage Not Included

Shark Dive Maui
"I hope they're not hungry!"

Scuba divers will never be surprised by the sudden appearance of a shark at the Maui Ocean Center. That's because they know, before submerging themselves in the 750,000-gallon tank filled with thousands of tropical reef fish and twenty stingrays, that as many as twenty of these underwater predators await them. The whole idea of Shark Dive Maui is to get up close and personal with up to six different species of sharks, including hammerheads and reef sharks.

"I thought I knew what to expect when my turn came to swim with the sharks, but I had no idea that I was about to take the dive of a lifetime," remembers Catherine Berg, a naturalist at the Center. "I was instantly overwhelmed by the abundance of marine life. The largest and most dominating, of course, was the strikingly beautiful tiger shark. At nearly nine feet in length, she commands respect and awes divers as she swims slowly around, as though she is overseeing the 2,000 animals below." If you're a certified diver who finds that description enticing instead of terrifying, than you don't want to miss a chance to dive with shark sightings guaranteed.

When: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, one dive each day at 8:15 a.m., by reservation only. (Each scheduled dive takes a maximum of four SCUBA-certified divers, ages 15 and up.)

Where: Maui Ocean Center, 192 Ma’alaea Rd., Wailuku, HI 96793

Price: $199 (plus tax) per diver

Information: 808-270-7075, www.mauioceancenter.com

Shark Cage Included

For those visiting the island of Oahu, there are two outfits offering adventurous shark tours on the island's North Shore that utilize steel cages in the shark's natural habitat. These unique, two-hour excursions begin with a three-mile boat ride, which offers glimpses of turtles, dolphins and humpback whales depending on the time of year. Although not all participants end up getting into the floating cage, it is said to be the experience of a lifetime. Bottom feeding Galapagos sharks are the most common, but on occasion, tiger sharks are encountered — once even a great white. The sharks vary in length from five to fifteen feet, yet at any size, it is an up close and personal interaction.

Information: North Shore Shark Adventures 808-228-5900, www.sharktourshawaii.com or Hawaii Shark Encounters 808-351-9373, www.hawaiisharkencounters.com


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*Photo by Don Early

P072006
(Updated: 05/23/11 BH)

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