Throughout each year of diving we interact with a large variety of marine life from many species of sharks, dolphins, whales, and sport fish. Each tour is unique and special in its own way, but every once in a while, there is a tour that is pushed over the top of the minds of the divers and staff alike. On our early morning December 18th tour, what made the trip was our encounter with a Scalloped Hammerhead shark! Scalloped Hammerheads are listed as an endangered species. Once a common sight, is now a rare and treasured encounter. The Scalloped Hammerhead can reach a maximum length of 14ft and be encountered in schools of hundreds of sharks in some very unique parts of the world. Our encounter consisted of around half a dozen individual sharks, lasting for around 10 minutes. (Which is a large amount of time for what we consider a very shy shark.) Although we come across scalloped hammerheads multiple times a year, every encounter is one for the books!
Fall is always a season Hawaii shark divers look forward to, as for the end of summer and beginning of fall marks the start of the female Tiger Shark migration from the north western Hawaii Island to the main Hawaii Island. Female Tiger Sharks leave the North western Hawaiian Islands large, pregnant and beautiful.
They are believed to travel to the main Hawaiian Island to give birth in a more suitable nursery site. Although encounters are still rare, even in the fall, the chance are still increased which excites the whole crew. On September 2nd the crew and customers received a greeting to be remembered for a lifetime; out of the blue appeared a 16ft. pregnant female Tiger Shark.
She maintained her presence at the the dive site for the majority of the tour, making passes and observing the local environment. As the tour was coming to an end, just as she came, she left disappearing into the open blue waters surrounding Oahu. The boat ride back to shore was all smiles and good times amongst the crew and customers. (Before each tour customers are briefed on proper water behavior from one of our professional shark divers who will guide them throughout the tour).
As fall comes to an end, the thoughts racing though everyones minds are of the gentle giants. When we speak of the gentle giants we are referring to Humpback Whales, which bless the Hawaiian waters with their presence every winter. The North Pacific Humpback whales travels thousands of miles, all the way down from the nutrient rich waters of Alaska. The whales come to Hawaiian waters to mate, calve, and nurse their young, making Hawaii the only state in the United States where this happens. Whale season in Hawaii begins in late November and will continue on until May, with the peak of the season being between January and March. Through out the winter you will be able to hear the whales singing, watch them breaching, and even on a rare occasion- encounter them in the water as they pass by our dive site! On December 2nd we encountered our first breaching whales of the season, and we are excited to see what the rest of the season brings!