You Can Swim With Sharks Here

When it comes to bucket-list adventures, swimming with sharks is near the top for a lot of adrenaline junkies. Many of the adventures on the list require scuba diving, but at some locations, even non-divers with a desire to get up close and personal with the top of the food chain can jump in and face their fears.

Bahamas, Bahamas, and more in the Bahamas!

I don’t want to scare the non-shark lovers away from the beauty of the Bahamas, but there are sharks out there. From least scary to the most, here’s where to get your Bahamian shark fix.

Compass Cay Marina is home to a large number of well-fed, friendly nurse sharks. In case you don’t know it, nurse sharks are more like a giant catfish than a great white. You can walk right into the shallow water near the fish cleaning station and pet these gentle guys.

Stuart Cove’s in Nassau has been doing shark dives safely for decades. Caribbean reef sharks feed on fish-on-a-stick as divers kneel in the sand in awe. Reef sharks are some of the least aggressive species of shark. (Forget about what you saw on Shark Week.)

As your fear subsides and you crave more sharks and more excitement, check out the folks at Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures in Fort Lauderdale. They operate live-aboard dive boats with regularly scheduled shark trips in the Bahamas. Expect to see tigers and hammerheads, as well as the Caribbean reef sharks.


There are several shark species in the Pacific waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. Sightings of tigers, hammerheads, blues, and even great whites are not all that uncommon. And while divers can expect to see these guys almost anywhere while diving in Hawaii, the Oahu’s North Shore is the place to be for cage diving. Hawaii Shark Encounters takes shark education seriously and strives to educate customers about the need for shark conservation while providing them with a thrilling swim with sharks inside the safety of a cage. No diving skills are required — just bring your courage.


Scuba diving in Fiji is a definite bucket list adventure for many divers. And the fish many hope to see most is shark. Beqa Adventure Divers can make that happen for you. Sharks are protected in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, so no worries about questionable practices. This is an uncaged dive, but per the company’s website, it is a carefully managed feed, where participants observe, but do not interact with the sharks.

Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Home to a large population of great whites, the waters off the Mexico’s Baja coast, attract divers willing to brave cold Pacific waters for some time in a cage watching the top fish of the ocean. Nautilus Live Aboards operates six-day adventures from July to November utilizing submersible cages that descend to thirty feet for a better opportunity to observe the sharks. You meet the expedition in San Diego, motor to Ensenada, cruise to Guadalupe, then spend three full days in the cages watching the predators. Non-divers are allowed, as air is supplied by hoses attached to the boat, but a minimum of a Discover Scuba course is recommended.






-Nobody likes to hear about them when they’re swimming, let alone see one in the water with you.  But, when you’re scuba diving, MOST of the time, it’s cool to see one or a few or even a bunch!  Non-hungry, small and timid sharks don’t often eat scuba divers and that’s just science.  My how scuba diving can change the way people think about the ocean’s treasurous creatures.  And in a good way!  Myself included.

Before my thinking was changed, my family and I went on vacation to Akumal, Mexico years back.  None of us were scuba certified at the time, other than my show-off wife!  So, ocean activity comprised mostly of snorkeling and swimming in really close to shore.  And during one exciting time while we were splashing around in the very warm sea as I remember clearly, my daughter right next to me, let out a piercing and crisp shriek…, “SHARK!”; then proceeded to hop onto my back, with her legs and arms locked around my neck and torso for protection selfishly all her own.  That word, screamed in that manner, about made me come out of my skin.  Mind you that the movie JAWS screwed up my psyche along with any chance of me having a long distance ocean swimming career.  I wasn’t going to be much help to my daughter or myself if I didn’t quickly get a grip with calm perspective and fast restorative action back to clear thought and surroundings analysis.  Also, reminding myself here, that Akumal, Mexico is an absolute haven for sea turtles to do their egg-laying, hanging out and swimming around very close to the beach.  I mean that these turtle creatures are all over the place.  We saw many dozens of them, may over a hundred.  Daily!  -These last sentences being the important bits of information my brain was able to process which was able to bring me worry-relief during my body’s fight-or-flight computational environmental triage.  Were we about to get eaten by a big ass scary shark or not?!  The answer after about five seconds of wonder while my daughter was hanging for dear life around my neck was… nope.  My learned offspring followed up her one word of information for me, “shark”, with a comment that it must have been a turtle that bumped her.  No shark after all.  After hearing that new info, I began to nervously laugh and happily torture my kid for having put me through shark fear.  All’s well that ends well!

Fast forward to today.  I actually want to see sharks while I’m in the water,,, scuba diving!  -Still not while I’m swimming though.  I can’t stand the thought of being a tasty fishing bobber just hanging out there waiting to get bump tasted by an inquisitive sea cleaner.  Yuck!  Bad thoughts.  Having the scuba gear on and hopefully a camera rig with defensive big flash system in my hand out in front of me, brings me a minor sense of invincibility to shark attack.  I much prefer the latter feeling.  Sharks are extremely well designed and awesomely cool animals that nature got right.  They’ve been around for millions of years and hopefully they’ll be around for millions more.

If you want to feel better about being in the water with sharks and want to enjoy Shark Week on the Discovery channel during the summer time much much more than you ever have, you need to run out and get yourself certified to scuba dive!  I’ve never ever met a diver that thinks that diving is JUST OKAY.  They all LOVE it.  See what all the craze is about, settle your shark fears, enjoy Shark Week more.  These are all valid reasons to go scuba diving.  I can’t wait to do it again.

Go sharks! 


This is the dive signal for, “Shark”.  For this signal and many others, make sure to check out the Salty Dogs Dive Signals located HERE…


Friendly sea lion pup

LOS ISLOTES, Mexico, Dec. 2 (UPI) — A scuba diver off the coast of Mexico encountered a friendly and curious young sea lion that showed a particular fascination with his flippers.

Jared Hartman recorded video of a sea lion pup that approached him underwater during a dive off the coast of Los Islotes, a small rock island in the Sea of Cortez.

The sea lion swims curiously around Hartman before gnawing on the swimming flipper on his left foot. Hartman plays with the sea lion, which gives the other flipper a taste before swimming up to the man’s diving companions.

The young sea lion taste tests the other divers’ flippers, but doesn’t damage anyone’s diving equipment.

“Here, one juvenile sea lion pup takes turns chewing on my fins along with the fins of other divers in my group,” Hartman wrote. “They are very playful just like puppy dogs.”




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