Tag Archives: best travel blog

Close Encounters of the Shark Kind: Shark Cage Diving In Oahu

Shark Cage Dving Oahu

What better way to kick off a trip in Hawaii than going shark cage diving in Oahu?

Everyone’s all settled in and still not over the fact that less than 24 hours ago, we were just in Alaska. But no time for rest. I made it known to them that bright and early tomorrow morning, we have to head towards the North Shore for Event #4. I didn’t tell them anything about the event, except to wear swim gear and bring waterproof cameras if they had them. We packed the rental car and took off early in the morning to the North Shore of Oahu. Our destination? Haleiwa, HI.

Haleiwa, Hawaii, the location of Event #4.
Haleiwa, Hawaii, the location of Event #4.

Event #4 of 5 – Shark Cage Diving Oahu

Before we left, I woke up Veronica around 6am to take a couple motion sickness tablets. She gets as sick as I do so we both took them early in preparation. She didn’t know yet why she needed them, but she didn’t hesitate to take them. Once we pulled into the Haleiwa park and saw the sign for “Hawaii Shark Encounters” she then knew exactly why she needed the tablets. “We’re going shark cage diving!”

Courtesy of Chris O'Sullivan
Courtesy of Chris O’Sullivan
The boat for our dive came about 15 minutes after we arrived and we got on board with seven other divers along with two instructors. One of the instructors let us know that the type of sharks we would be seeing were Galapagos sharks, which can grow up to 3.3 meters (11 feet) in length.

img_1842

img_1839

We rode the boat about 20 minutes out into the sea where we found our cage attached to a buoy. Thankfully, the weather was especially welcoming and the waters were of a comfortable temperature, unlike my previous shark cage diving experience in South Africa. Already we could see sharks swimming below our boat, much to the elation of everyone. Once anchored, we put on our wet suits and snorkels masks and climbed down into the cage which was now securely attached to the boat.

Galapagos Sharks

I was feeling a tad sick from the boat ride–just a tad, but going underwater made it feel a little better. Just in time, as I was able to concentrate and focus on capturing awesome footage with my GoPro.

Shark Cage Diving Oahu

Shark Cage Diving Oahu

The Galapagos sharks look vicious, but are actually mild in comparison to Great Whites. These sharks aren’t fond of humans as a meal, but instead will let you swim freely around them once they grow comfortable and realize that you are not a threat. If I’d known that this was a thing, I would of had all of us free dive with them instead of cage dive, but baby steps. I wasn’t sure how Veronica, Katelin, and Sean would fare but they ended up loving it! As far as Chris goes, per usual, he is game for literally anything at anytime.

DCIM100GOPROG0016818.

The cage was big enough to fit six people comfortably, but still we would bump into each other. No one paid mind though. The sharks captured all of our attention as the crew members baited them and we watched them chomp all around us. They swam so close to our cage that you could touch them. In fact, I think my GoPro caressed one as it swam by with little reaction from the shark. Without notice, my camera-free arm and feet would dangle outside of the cage at times. That’s how comfortable I was in that cage and how comfortable I was with those sharks, to not mind my limbs dangling freely (sometimes). Now if these were Great Whites, that would be another story.

Oahu Shark Cage Diving

Galapagos Sharks

After awhile of nonstop shark action, I began to feel nauseous again. I felt like I could vomit in the coming moments, so I exited the cage early. But just a couple minutes after I climbed out, the crew decided that we were in long enough anyways and they had everyone climb out.

“Look out into the horizon,” said one of the crew members to me, knowing that I was feeling sick. “You’ll start to feel better.”

And so I did. I’m not sure if it was just a mind game or what but I actually did begin to feel better by just staring out into the distant shore of Haleiwa. Veronica was feeling sick to so I told her to look out into the horizon as well.

On the way back to the dock, a pod of dolphins swam in sync to the waves our boats’ engine created behind us. This is the first time I’ve seen dolphins in the wild and so many of them at the same time! The cherry on top of this neat excursion.

Dolphins in Oahu

That’s half of The League of Eight Extraordinary Events down, another four to go!

What next could I possibly have in store for my crew of clueless globetrotters?

Shark Cage Diving Oahu

 

Advertisements

The League of Eight Extraordinary Events

The League of Eight Extraordinary Events - Adventure Born

What is the LEAGUE OF EIGHT EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS?

It’s two weeks worth of eight unique events that take place in a number of interesting spots spread throughout Alaska, one of the most adventurous places I could think of. No one really knows what the events are or what they encompass. As a matter of fact, the majority of the league is shrouded in mystery. Where will we stay? How are we getting around? What the heck is going on? Only I know all the answers.

How can you join the league? Well, you can’t just join the league. You have to know the right people (me) and you have to be super tight with those people (me). Also, those lucky participants are highly deserving and travel compatible. The League of Eight Extraordinary Events is something I imagined up for my friends and I to enjoy as we explore places we’ve never been, before I go solo into the unknown. I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska and now was the perfect opportunity.

Alaska, the Last Frontier, is by far the largest of the United States of America.

Size comparison of the State of Alaska compared to the lower 48 States
Size comparison of the State of Alaska compared to the lower 48 States.

A large landmass, the size of almost a third of the continental mainland made up of rugged mountain ranges and island archipelagos. Alaska is known for its wilderness of natural beauty, scenic parks, and bears. Lots of brown bears, polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, and moose the size of trucks. Some of these animals may make an appearance based on the events I know we will be doing. I know what to do in case of an unexpected encounter but to be killed so early on this worldly quest because of unpreparedness would be a shame. With that, I prepared a printout for the gang on how to handle a bear or moose encounter. After a bit of research, a moose charging at you with those gigantic behemoth sized antlers sounded a lot scarier. Odds are slim that we’ll run into any of these animals in the wild, but you know…just in case!

While waiting in the Detroit Metro Airport, the group was still in disbelief as they tried to decipher any hidden meaning of the documents I gave them.

The League of Eight Extraordinary Events

We didn’t have a direct flight to Anchorage. Instead we had a long layover in Seattle where we were able to explore outside of the airport for a while.

IMG_0193

We returned a few hours later to catch some sleep before the final flight. It was mighty uncomfortable but that’s just how airports are.

IMG_0985

Once we finally landed in Anchorage, the time was about 8:10 am. We freshened up in the restrooms and went to retrieve our luggage. One of the biggest fears of a frequent traveler is to not see your precious bag loop around the conveyor belt. It’s only happened to me once and thankfully I’ve been fine ever since. We spotted our bags almost instantly as we approached the belts. Next, we headed straight to the rental car company where I had a ride waiting for us in reserve. We weren’t staying in Anchorage nor in any hotels. I had a little something more “Alaskan” waiting for us.

alaska roadtrip

I didn’t reveal right out the gate that we were heading just outside of Denali National Park, which was approximately a five-hour drive. Instead, they were able to figure out on their own that it had be Denali National Park, based on the direction I was going. I can’t keep everything a secret! Thankfully though, the linear drive was easy and full of awesome scenery; some of the most stunning scenery I’ve seen on a consistent basis on any given road trip.


The first of the eight extraordinary events won’t begin until the next day, which meant we had plenty of time to stop at will, explore, and soak in our surroundings as much as we could. Alaska is definitely the most beautiful state I have been to thus far.

alaska roadtrip
Just outside of Denali National Park is the town of Healy where our accommodation is located. I booked us Alaskan Spruce Cabins, secluded away from everywhere else nearby, and it was ours for the next couple of nights.

Events #1 and #2 take place the next day. The gang has no idea what’s in store for them!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

sunflower-984381_1920

The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers. It is given to bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.

Jackie of Rapetti Review nominated Adventure Born for a Sunshine Blogger Award! Thanks for that Jackie. The whole aim of this blog is to inspire others about the intricate world of traveling adventurously and it’s great to be recognized for it. Hopefully I can keep you all entertained with stories and guidance from all sorts of neat places for a long time coming.

For excepting this award, there are some rules I must now follow in return:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

Well here are the eleven questions Jackie gave me along with my answers!

Who inspires you? My mother is an Iraqi War veteran. She’s a big inspiration. Other travelers I meet inspire me with their stories.

Favorite destination you’ve traveled to? One of the many difficult questions for any traveler to be asked. I’d have to say South Africa. It will always be special to me. So much that it feels like my second home.

What is your dream vacation? Retracing Percy Fawcett’s last steps in the Amazon as he searched for the fabled Lost City of Z. Sounds like work more than a vacation.

What does happiness mean to you? That feeling you get when someone places a bowl of delicious ice cream all dolled up in lots of toppings. That feeling you get when you see someone you’re fond of that you haven’t seen in awhile. That feeling you get when you complete your last day of work to travel the world. Doing something good for someone and not expecting anything in return. That’s happiness.

Favorite food? Cereal, simply put. All forms of pasta. Anything Oreo.

Favorite book? The Lost City of Z by David Grann

What do you wish you were doing right now? In a hammock on a beach, napping.

Would you fly to the moon if given the chance? YES!

Do you prefer the beach or mountain life? Tough question. I can’t answer this. I’ll take a little of both please.

What was your high school mascot? A panther. Our colors were blue and gold.

How would you describe your personality in one word?
Unorthodox?


Here are the 11 other bloggers that I nominate:

Here are my 11 questions:

  1. If you could visit one country right now, where would it be?
  2. What’s your favorite animal?
  3. Batman or Superman?
  4. Besides family and friends, what do you miss from home the most when you’re traveling?
  5. How old were you when you took your first flight?
  6. Favorite school subject?
  7. If you won one million dollars, what would be your very first purchase?
  8. Where are you exactly right now as you’re reading this question?
  9. What was the last movie you watched?
  10. If you had the opportunity to hike Mount Everest, all expenses paid, would you?
  11. What would you say to those that are afraid to travel somewhere new for the first time?

Looking forward to reading some of those answers! Once again, thank you Jackie for the nom. I hope to spread a little more inspiration with each and every post!