We spent most of the next day at the beach. We moved down where the waves were more violent and Max loved it. He got used to me throwing him about. The only problem was getting out of the sea. Just before you could get out, there was small ditch in the sand. With the current, the big waves and the ditch, it was a nightmare getting out. We got abused by the waves a few times but that’s the fun of the sea! One time, Stef and Max were getting out and she decided to let go of his hand near the sand ditch. He got sucked back in and the wave crashed down over him. It was hilarious. He walked it off like a trooper. After the beach, Stef and I headed back to the hotel. Obviously via the nearby Cheesecake Factory. We bought two of the biggest “slices” of cheesecakes we’d ever seen. Stef went for a cookie dough one and I went for a Hershey’s Double Chocolate. They were so big Stef struggled to carry them back to the room! As soon as we got in, we started to pig out. We were eating them for ages but didn’t even put a dent in them! Proper stuffed, they went into the fridge for the next day!
After chilling out on the beach in the hot sun, we decided that we needed to relax a little more and take it easy.
What better way to relax? Diving in the nice Hawaii sea but with a twist. Today…we were SHARK DIVING!
Before we left the UK, Stef was adamant that I would be doing it on my own. The whole idea of it sounded crazy to her. I did get a little bit of hope when Mick, Stef’s Dad, said he would do it with me. He did try using the old “I won’t be able to see without my glasses” excuse but they had prescription goggles. As it got closer to the day, he found out that his travel insurance didn’t cover him to swim with sharks so he pulled out. I don’t know what ours cover but I’ll have a pretty good guess to say it doesn’t cover most of the mental stuff we’ve got up to. You only live once though right?
There were a few different types of dives. Some, where you could kit up with scuba gear and another where you just use a snorkel and hover near the surface. Both obviously in a metal cage. After looking at the videos of people doing it, Stef decided to man up and agree to go with me to do it. I tell you, this girl has a lot of fears but is willing to smash them all about the face and tell them to jog on!
Experience all booked up with Hawaii Shark Encounters, we needed a way to get to the other side of the island. They would come and pick you up for $80 for the pair but I had another idea.
Down the road from us was a car rental shop. It was lined with convertible Mustangs. I don’t know what rental car we’re going to get in the mainland States, but I knew it wasn’t going to be one of those. To rent one for the day was only $140. Bargain. I did see a sporty Chevrolet Camero SS but at $300 a day, Stef quickly shot that down. I suppose it was a good job as I’m sure the 6.2 litre V8 426bhp engine would have killed me!
We picked up the sexy blue Mustang and also Stef’s Mum and Dad. I was dropping them at the small town near the dive for them to have a change of scenery (and also probably to get away from little Max!)
It was a little cramped but we made our way up to the north of the Island. On the freeway I put my foot down. Now I know it wasn’t a beast like the Camero, but the 3.7 litre v6 305bhp engine shot us forward like a rocket. I could tell everyone else was a little bit scared so I chose to drive more conservative the rest of the way!
Just before the harbour was a place called Turtle Beach. Don’t get your hopes up, as there are no turtles there. But further along was another beach where they come up onto the sand and eat the seaweed. Having never seen wild turtles we stopped off there first. We walked along the beach to where people were congregating and there in the water were a few turtles. They were quite big but a bit shy. They remained just a few feet in the water. Every now and again you’d see a head poke out but you’d have to be quick on the camera as it popped back in the sea within seconds.
We headed back to the car along the beach. As we got to a big sand dune, Stef’s Mum decided that instead of walking diagonally up it to make life easier, she went up it vertically. It was a big mound and even I had to go diagonally. She didn’t make it and fell arse over tit right in front of the lifeguard hut. I’m sure she did it on purpose to get one of the hot young lifeguards to give her mouth-to-mouth. I didn’t laugh one bit…on the outside.
We drove to the harbour and parked up. With a couple of hours to kill, we walked into town and had a drink. Just outside our café, a tour guide decided to pull out on the road and went straight into a truck. No one was hurt but it was entertaining to watch the stressed man shouting and waving his arms about.
The time had come for Stef and I to meet Jaws. We headed to the boat and met three others that had also decided to be shark bait. There were a few different companies, but we went with Hawaii Shark Encounter.
The boat was quite small and the captain was very quick to get us to sign the waivers. As we left the harbour, the sea was quite wavy and it threw the boat about all over the place. But before we knew it, we were there. The cage was already in the water. Within seconds of the boat pulling up, the sharks appeared. The numbers grew quite big. They were Galapagos Sharks and can reach up to lengths of 3 metres.
We donned our masks and snorkels and one by one, jumped into the cage.
From on the boat, you couldn’t really tell how many sharks there were but with the mask on and under the water, you could see between 10-15 swimming around the boat and cage. They were all about 1-2 metres long and showed great interest in the cage. The cage had a big hole on each side, but that was covered with clear Perspex. The rest of the cage was like a typical cage. You could put your arms and legs clean through if you wanted. I would have, but I don’t think our travel insurance covered it….
It was weird. There we were surround by sharks, but it seemed so peaceful. They swam slowly around us and not once went for the cage. These sharks have killed people in the past but us being there in the water watching them, felt so right. Not once did we feel scared, it was just fascinating to watch them so up close.
The current was strong and we got thrown around in this little cage. They did try to help you out by putting a bar at foot level but there was nothing from stopping you slipping off it out of the cage! If you weren’t getting bashed into another person, you had to make sure that limbs didn’t poke through the gaps. It was tough going.
It was an amazing site to watch. They would just swim around and come right up to the cage. It was so tempting to touch one. At points I would stick the GoPro camera out of the cage to get a better video and without thinking, turn my head to see more. I’d quickly remember that my arm was hanging out the cage and pull it back in. I did this numerous times! I still have both arms.
We got some amazing photos and videos. We were in the water for about 20 minutes. As we were in the middle of the sea and weren’t wearing any wetsuits, it got quite cold. We all jumped back on the boat and it made it’s bumpy way back to the harbour.
It was a relief to get back to shore and step on solid land but I would recommend shark diving to ANYONE!
We picked up the in-laws and made our way back to town. It was supposed to be an hour and a half journey but we hit rush hour. It wasn’t a pleasant experience on the freeway after not really having any traffic whilst in OZ and NZ. I had planned to drive to a waterfall after the sharks, but I was just so tired after using every muscle I had in the sea, I just couldn’t be bothered.
We had a great day nether the less and another great memory to add to the many more we had experienced on this trip.