Shark Cage Diving in Oahu
What if the key to happiness was as simple as clicking a button?
Believe it or not, 97% of people report that planning a vacation makes them happier. In the shadow of stressful world events and the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is out there hoping to live a little.
What if you could live a lot, though? If you like the idea of outdoor adventures, there is nothing quite as exciting as shark cage diving. And no place better to do it than Oahu, where sharks hold a special cultural value!
Ready to start planning your own special shark encounter? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know!
How Does Shark Cage Diving Even Work?
Shark cage diving begins with you and the rest of your tour going underwater in a sturdy protective cage. This cage is strong enough to protect against a shark, allowing you to get an amazing ocean view.
It’s easy to get worried about whether the cage is strong enough, but you don’t have to be worried. These cages weren’t originally made for the tourism industry. Instead, they were made for scientists to study marine life and for Hollywood to safely film scenes underwater.
You don’t need any special training to begin cage diving, but you do need to bring the right supplies. And the rest of our guide will let you know what to bring.
Why Do People Love Cage Diving?
The primary benefit of shark cage diving is that it offers an unprecedented view of the ocean. If you love looking at marine life or just exploring areas like the depths of the ocean, cage diving offers the best way to do so.
Many lovers of marine life enjoy cage diving because it is a bit like being in a reverse zoo or aquarium. Instead of watching sharks and other creatures in cages or aquariums, it is you inside the container. From there, you can watch all of the underwater life roam free.
And if you love photography, cage diving provides great chances to take some dazzling underwater photos. After all, this is the best way to see sharks and photograph them. The trick is to bring the right camera (more on this later).
Packing the Right Clothes
Packing the bag for your own personal shark encounter? The most important item to pack is your swimsuit or other bathing clothes. Make sure they are comfortable…this can help if you end up experiencing anxiety underwater.
Aside from the dive itself, you need to pack the right clothing for after you get out of the cage. While Oahu may be known for its warm days, you should still pack some of your warmer clothes. You may be surprised by how cold you get after you get out of the ocean.
Beyond this, pack any clothing that you want, but don’t overdo it. You may regret packing too many things if you have to lug around an overstuffed bag for a short day trip!
Other Supplies to Bring
The right swimsuit and clothing are your priority items when planning your cage diving experience. Beyond that, you should prioritize bringing sunscreen (it’s easy to get burned out there).
One bit of additional clothing we recommend bringing is a hat for summer dives or a beanie for winter dives. Even if you’re not normally a “hat person,” this will protect your scalp from a potential sunburn.
Beyond these things, the main thing you need to remember to bring is a waterproof camera. Chances are that you’ll want killer photographs to remember your cage diving experience. But unless your camera is waterproof, it will become an instant casualty of your underwater experience.
The Trick to Taking Photos Underwater
Perhaps the biggest key ingredient to a good underwater photo is using the flash. Otherwise, the photographic details will be lost to the darkness. Fancier equipment like flashguns can provide better light and result in better pictures.
If you don’t want to scare the ocean life away, you’ll need to keep calm. Later in our guide, we’ll walk you through how to keep calm inside the cage. And if you can keep from thrashing around, you may be able to take some stunning photos up very close to the fish and the sharks.
And this may go without saying, but make sure you have all the photographic equipment you need before going underwater. For example, you probably won’t be able to resurface to change lenses, so make sure you are satisfied with the lens before going under.
When you cage dive as part of a tour, you’ll see other people taking photographs as well. By following their cues, you may be able to get some great pictures.
Finally, don’t forget to listen to your tour guide. They’ve been doing this a long time and know where some of the greatest underwater views will be during your dive. If you are interested, they can even tell you more about shark conservation.
The Importance of a Good Breakfast Before Cage Diving
Remember when your mother said breakfast was the most important meal of the day? As it turns out, her advice is perfect for cage divers!
That’s because most dives take place in the middle of the day. And because you spend hours on the boat getting to and from the dive area, it may be a long time before you can grab another bite. If you have a big breakfast, it will keep you sustained.
Even if you have the option, we recommend not eating or drinking much shortly before your dive. It’s easy for this to make your stomach queasy, especially if this is your first cage-diving experience.
Shark Cage Diving: Keeping Calm
Once you get underwater, it’s easy to start freaking out. You may find yourself breathing much faster as anxiety takes hold. And you may become overly concerned about, say, limbs accidentally poking out beyond the cage.
How do you fight this anxiety and keep calm? First, remember how sturdy the cage is. These cages have been keeping everyone from major scientists to Hollywood bigshots alive since the 1960s, and they’ll certainly keep you safe during the dive.
You should also look to your tour guide for calming inspiration. The guide does this several times a week and will know exactly how to keep you safe. They can tell you, for example, that stories about dangerous sharks are mostly myths.
Wear Contacts Instead of Glasses When Possible
Do you wear corrective lenses? While this isn’t a strict requirement, we recommend that you wear contacts rather than glasses before diving.
Why is that? Part of suiting up for your dive involves putting on a special mask. While it’s possible to get the mask on over most glasses, it’s not always possible, nor does it always lead to a comfortable fit.
With contacts on, you won’t have to worry about how the mask fits. And you’ll have an even better view of the ocean and underwater marine life with your contacts.
Don’t Forget the Chewing Gum
Earlier, we talked about how you may want to avoid food close to the dive to avoid getting sick. However, there is one exception to this: chewing gum.
You may want to chew some gum closer to your cage-diving experience. This can prevent your eardrums from popping as you go underwater. And chewing this gum can provide a greater sense of balance and make the entire experience more comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, chewing gum during the dive can also give you a much fresher breath. That may help you feel calm and more comfortable as you explore the ocean depths.
Bring Medicine If You Get Motion Sickness
Do you know for a fact that you often get motion sickness? In that case, shark cage diving is an act of real bravery because you risk getting sea sick. To make the most of your experience, though, you need to take your anti-nausea medication well in advance of the dive.
How far in advance? Typically, you are better off taking medication 30 to 60 minutes before getting onto the boat. Don’t wait until the actual dive: if you suffer from motion sickness, then even getting on the boat is likely to set it off.
Finding the Right Tour Group
By now, you are probably hyped about the idea of planning your cage diving experience. There is just one step lift: finding the right tour group.
While this is always important, it is especially vital before you go shark cage diving. The right tour group knows how to keep you safe and keep you calm. And they also answer all of your questions and concerns so that you can enjoy the trip.
Long story short? Don’t settle for just any guide when you dive beneath the ocean. Instead, find someone you trust to guide you during the experience of a lifetime!
Plan Your Shark Cage Diving Experience Today!
Now you know all about shark cage diving in Oahu. But do you know who can bring your cage-diving dreams to life?
Here at Go Adventure Hawaii, we specialize in activities like our awesome Pelagic Shark Dive. To discover how much fun diving with the sharks can be, just contact us today!