Swimming with sharks in Oahu was one of the most incredible things I have ever done. Not only had I never gone snorkelling before, but I also had never been so close to sea life before. It was an experience that I will surely never forget. If you’re ever looking for a place to go shark diving, Oahu is the best spot, and you really need to experience it for yourself one day. If you are adventurous, I suggest that you try shark diving without a cage with One Ocean Diving. On your next trip, I suggest you plan to go diving with sharks in Hawaii. You won’t regret having a shark diving adventure in Oahu!
Being in the water with all those sharks was honestly a bit scary…I won’t lie to you! Since I had never even been snorkelling, I basically went from 0-100 with this experience. Joel and I went shark diving with Ben (thanks for the photos, Ben!) and Shannon, who we met up with that morning. We became instant friends, and I am so glad we got to spend the day together. Swimming with sharks is certainly a quick way to bond with strangers!
Shark Diving Without a Cage
We went diving with One Ocean Research Center, which is where you can go shark diving without a cage. If you’re ever in Oahu and thinking of swimming with sharks, I definitely suggest going with One Ocean Diving Hawaii for this experience. The researchers and safety divers are all so knowledgeable, informative, and professional.
It took me about 30 minutes to figure out snorkeling and to get comfortable with all the waves–we were all a bit nauseous on the boat ride over.
How to Avoid Seasickness in the Ocean
If I had been better prepared for the rough ocean, it would have been a lot better. Here are some things that One Ocean lists out on their site as ways you can try and avoid the seasickness if this happens to you easily:
- Get enough rest the night before and take sea sickness medicine the night before as well as two hours before boarding the boat.
- Dramamine is a common over-the-counter antiemetic pill that helps treat and prevent the symptoms of motion sickness.
- Avoid eating and drinking any acidic foods and beverages, like coffee, orange juice, and alcohol.
- Try eating crackers or bread—something dry and bland. This will help to soak up stomach acids before boarding.
- If you start to feel sea-sick while on the boat look at the horizon, stand in the back in the fresh breeze. Try keeping cool, and drink only little sips of water and chew on ginger (they don’t supply this so make sure to bring your own on board).
I love this shot because I was pointing to a huge shark behind Ben even though there are three right behind me.
Instructions to Keep in Mind
While shark diving in Oahu, the divers told us to continuously be looking in every direction, and to always look behind us. This is because you never know where the sharks will be. It’s also important to keep watch and pay attention because when the sharks start getting too close, the company knows that they’re needing their space back from us. They basically monitor how things are going with the sharks, which is what keeps the experience safe.
When swimming with sharks in Oahu, the key thing is to not make a lot of movement. The researchers have spent many years studying these animals, so they truly know so much about them and their behaviour. This helped to put my mind at ease while enjoying this crazy experience!
You don’t need to have diving experience, by the way. It’s not an actual diving excursion—it’s snorkelling. You can free dive as much as you want, though. Just make sure you’re paying attention to where the sharks are, of course. If you don’t have swimming experience, you should probably get some practice before you go on this tour.
The Shark Species we Saw with One Ocean Diving
All of the sharks were Sandbar and Galapagos sharks. At one point, there were over 30 of them swimming around us in the water!
This shark came really close to us, and seemed to be super curious about why we were in the water. For a minute, I was curious myself! It didn’t take me long to be completely in awe, though. It was an unforgettable experience to see an actual shark so close to me. I would never in a million years have thought that I would be swimming with sharks and actually loving it.
The Divers’ Knowledge and Experience
Swimming with sharks in Oahu was a great experience because of the One Ocean divers who guided us. They were very knowledgeable and made the excursion even more fun. They’ve studied sharks for years and know so much about them. Sharks are predators, and yes—they look scary, but unless they think you are threatening to them, they will leave you alone. As Ben said, they are the kittens of the sea lol.
They told us not to worry if you have cuts or scrapes or are bleeding in any way. Apparently, their behaviour isn’t actually affected by human blood. We may have all gotten that impression from the movies!
Their website specifies that, “We have the most experienced, professionally trained, and medically certified safety divers/marine biologists/dive masters in the water with you at all times. They are specifically trained in Hawaii for this specific area and conditions, and they are the first ones in the water and the last ones out.”
That’s definitely good to know when you’re doing such a wild tour!
I just can’t get over how lucky I was to get to go swimming with sharks in Oahu. I’m so grateful for friends who encouraged me to do something that was new and intimidating for me. As you can probably imagine, I felt like I was on top of the world afterward! Conquering my nervousness left me feeling pretty invincible.
If you, too, have an urge to try diving with sharks Hawaii is the place! Specifically, check out One Ocean Research Center in Oahu. This company’s divers made the experience unforgettable—and more importantly, made sure we all felt as safe as possible.
Let me know if you have ever tried swimming with sharks. Shark diving in Oahu was an amazing experience. If you are adventurous, I suggest that you try shark diving without a cage with One Ocean Diving in Hawaii.
Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.