Okay, you’ve heard about it and you’ve seen footage on TV and the Internet. Shark encounters! You get into a cage walled with Plexiglas, are lowered into the ocean and you hang out with those toothy denizens everybody’s scared to death of.

We do that here in Hawaii. A lot of people don’t like the idea. They say it’s not a good idea to attract sharks for any reason, but there’s no denying that the adventure is thrilling. Watching a shark swoop up towards you from the depths is primal; you aren’t likely to forget the sight.

The most popular encounters are from Oahu’s North Shore, and there are others. Here’s the drill: You start with a safety briefing. Masks and snorkels are provided, but you can bring your own if you want. The boat’s captain will take you three or four miles out. When you get to the area, you climb into the shark cage, which holds two of you, and the cage is lowered into the water. The visibility almost always is great. You can see the sharks coming when they are attracted – not by you, but by fish bait. Be sure you have an underwater camera with you.

No, you don’t need any ping experience. Just relax (if you can) and enjoy the thrill. If you like the idea, your Hawaii-Aloha agent will set an encounter up for you. Find an agent at hawaii-aloha.com, or call 1-800-8771.


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