Before we plan a route, dive an area, or go just about anywhere- you better believe that Chris has researched it, read all the blogs about it, and has covered all the information resource base. Before we headed to the South Pass of Fakarava for a week of diving, all our information gathering lead to the conclusion that this was a place to see sharks, lots of sharks.
We’ve now been in the Tuamotus for a full 3 months. We’ve completed a couple dozen pass dives, from Raroia, Makemo, Tahanea, Taou and now Fakarava. And I must say- I thought we were diving with A LOT of sharks in these places and couldn’t imagine a place where I could see more. But all that we read about Fakarava, said it was an absolute amazing place, with great diving, and there was a lot of talk about a “wall of sharks”. Honestly, I didn’t believe it. Fakarava is the most “touristy” atoll we have visited so far, with daily flights to Tahiti, and I kind of figured we just heard more about it because of its popularity and the constant flush of cruisers and French tourists every week. Plus, how could the diving get better than what we’ve seen? And “wall of sharks”, what the heck is a wall of sharks?
Well… come to find out- the hype about Fakarava south pass is true. IT’S FUCKING AMAZING.
My first dive there was with Mitch, Chris’ brother-in-law visiting from Oklahoma. Chris dropped us off from the dinghy at the mouth of the pass. The dive started out exciting, drifting through schools of bright red soldierfish, passing 3 meter Napolean Wrasses, and we were surrounded by 4-5 sharks. I would have been more than happy to call the dive after that. Then, we hit something that almost made me crap me board shorts… a wall of sharks. And it’s the only way to describe it. A freakin’ wall of sharks.
They were everywhere.. soaring above like a fleet of Blue Angels- full of tremendous grace, power, and beauty. Upon first sight, you would think there were around 50-100 sharks- and then you realize, there are even more, packed behind those 100, all in rank. I am glad that I have these pictures to share with you but I don’t have the words to describe the feeling I get from an experience like this.
Diving the south pass of Fakarava has left me feeling more fortunate than ever to be doing this journey through the South Pacific, seeing things that you can only get to by your own boat, with your own compressor… and things that our own children may never get the chance to see. If you haven’t heard, the population of sharks is in danger worldwide. Some believe over 100 million sharks are killed from fishing every year. 100 million.
I can only hope that a place where you can see this quantity of sharks still exists 10 years from now. And I promise to cherish every moment I am granted with these top predators in our oceans.