Many of my long time readers know that I have a sliiiiiight obsession with sharks. I’m fascinated by my sharp-toothed friends and am often left speechless (if only for a moment) after each peaceful encounter. From diving in Maui, to snorkeling in St. John, to that one time we saw a shark “attack” on Maui’s Big Beach, my adrenaline-filled shark adventures are some of my favorite aquatic memories; and let’s face it, after I found — and pet — a nurse shark in my mostly-desert-home-state of Utah, I would pretty much call myself a Shark Whisperer now. 😉
After my “fintastic” birthday celebration the day before, I knew that black-tip reef sharks were plentiful in the waters around Mo’orea and I was looking to get some more one-on-one time with my new finned friends during our scheduled scuba dives.
We booked our dives with Mo’orea Fun Dive because of the great reviews on Trip Advisor and because Fun Dive was about $60(USD) cheaper than the dive shop at our resort. Sign me up!
Christian, the shop owner, picked us up from the Hilton and during the 30-minute drive to his house on the west side, he shared details about his previous “life” in France and the path that eventually brought him and his wife to Mo’orea. Did you notice that I said a drive to his house? Christian operates a fully-functioning dive shop from the convenience of his beach house, which obviously has a MUCH better view than my office back home. Christian is not only the owner but is also the captain and an experienced dive master.
We began our day at Edin Gardens, a popular dive site located just outside of Mo’orea’s turquoise-colored lagoon. Visibility was well over 140-feet and the moment that we finished our descent and reached the reef below, black-tip reef sharks surrounded our group of four. These curious creatures followed us throughout the dive and during our 37-minutes under the sea we saw more colorful fish than I could have ever dreamed. It felt like I was swimming in the most beautiful aquarium: bright pink, deep purple, vibrant orange, neon yellow, and vivid blue whizzed by in a kaleidoscope of colors as the schools of fish swam around our group. These fish were just as curious about us as we were about them.
We were also lucky enough to see two sketchy lemon sharks during our first dive, however they kept their distance and disappeared before we had time to get acquainted.
What I didn’t know at the time, was that one of my all-time favorite dives would happen at the next dive site. We were about to get up close and personal with some large sharks!