Day 14: Oahu: The best cure for a fish phobia is jumping into a cage to watch sharks…

This morning we were up at 6am to get ready and drive to Hale’iwa for our shark cage dive with North Shore Shark Adventures. Traffic was a bit more of a beast than we expected so we arrived 10 minutes late to the boat harbour. We were worried everyone would be waiting for us, but we had plenty of time and were still waiting for some people who were over 30 minutes late. They must have opted for the lay in!

We departed just after 9am and the waves were so much calmer than I was expecting. Some of the reviews online made me worry we would be chucked all over the place but the ride out was mostly flat. We sat out at the front and didn’t even get splashed on the way out. This was the one trip I wasn’t looking forward to as I have a phobia of small fish, not to mention 8-12 foot sharks! We decided not to get the (super expensive) video they made as Chris had his go pro anyway. There were some other people from the UK on the tour, the first we had seen since the two people we were speaking to at San Francisco immigration! We only went 3 miles off shore so arrived (too) quickly!

Chris and I were in the second group to go in. I was happy with this as wanted to get it over and done with, but also not be the first batch to test out the cage! The cages were a nice size so with 6 people it didn’t feel cramped at all and there was plenty of space to look and move around – or in my case freeze and freak out silently! When the boat stops is when it gets a bit rockier, the boat sways a bit and I was a bit worried I would bounce out and become shark bait at one point! The seasickness pills did a great job though as I didn’t feel at all sea sick. As soon as you arrive you can see the sharks all around you on the boat, enormous Galapagos and sandbar sharks – some swimming right up to the surface so their fins stick out. Your heart cant help but skip a beat when you see that! They are fast little critters too.

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We had about 20 minutes in the cage. As we were called I was really starting to panic but tried not to let it show. This was Chris’ chosen activity that took me a lot of convincing – I said no at least the first five times he suggested it but somehow he wore me down! I can’t believe I agreed to do this in exchange for him being ‘brave’ enough to go ziplining – you can’t put these on the same scale!

The others got in the cage and I was in front of Chris – he made me go first to test it as well, such a considerate boyfriend!! I wanted to freak out a bit but I’m not one to cause a scene, especially in front of a bunch of people I have never met before! The crew did a good job of making me feel better along with a few jokes to make me feel a bit worse too! I stepped in making sure to poke no limbs out and swam to one of the bars on the side. I remained there for the next 10 minutes working out my next move!

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Chris came in after me and had no problems, straight away the go pro came out and he’s moving about all over the place and going down deeper to get a good look. When we were on the boat the guy mentioned there was a big barracuda that liked to pop by. Naturally the beast decided to appear and position himself in front of my face, giving me an evil stare and flashing me his razor sharp teeth! I asked the crew guy earlier whether the barracuda could fit in the cage and he said yes but it would be unlikely if he tried. I couldn’t take my eyes off the evil looking thing to be sure he wasn’t sneaking in beside me!

I spent most of my time in there being more paranoid about him than the sharks. They were big enough that they couldn’t get to me unless I flailed about and poked a limb out. I started to enjoy looking at them about halfway through, they are so big and fast and shark shaped! They were circling us but in a non predatory way, more in a ‘WTF’ way so I was as happy as I could be in that situation! Their whole face area freaks me out (as it does with most fish) but from side on they look quite cool.

There were some smaller pretty fish bobbing about with them – the sharks weren’t interested in eating them though, I assume they aren’t very tasty. There were also some tiny needle fish that were about the size of a pen but thinner – they were totally transparent with a metallic shine and all you could see was their bones! They creeped me out too especially as they were right by my feet flitting around!

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If it wasn’t for the barracuda I wouldn’t have been in as much of a rush to get out, but he could smell my fear and looked hungry so I was relieved when the 20 minutes was up! We climbed out and went to dry off at the front of the boat – at this point there were a few big waves creeping up with rocked the boat a fair bit. I dried off and relaxed as I knew there was nothing else to dread for the holiday and I had actually survived it without crying, refusing to get in or making a huge scene! We made the most of the last 20 minutes to sunbathe a bit and watch the sharks from the safety of the boat. The way back was a little rougher but not terribly so and we only got splashed a little.

By the time we pulled back into the harbour it was 11am. We were both starving as due to the traffic we didn’t have time to pick up any breakfast. I had already pencilled in Opal’s Thai for lunch but we wanted to wait until a little closer to lunch time. We nipped into Longs Drugs to look at souvenirs and snacks for a bit and then headed over. It wasn’t even mid day and there was only one spare table! Luckily nobody was in front so we went straight in but it got fairly busy almost straight away.

We started browsing the menu and after 5 minutes Opal came over to introduce himself. Once he knew we were English he started chatting to Chris about how much he loves Top Gear! He gave us a little quiz on what we did or didn’t eat etc and we waited to see what he would put together. The first dish was Thai chicken lettuce wraps. I would never usually order something like this but it was really good – very limey! They were quite different tasting but in a good way, lots of flavour that’s for sure.

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The main dishes were a bit of a mystery as when I tried to find out the names of them he changed the subject! One was a really tasty noodle dish with chicken, vegetables and a tasty sauce. It wasn’t Pad Thai but was very yummy whatever it was. Also we had a spicy duck curry with pineapple and mixed rice. It was really good again, all the flavours were there – sweet, spicy, fruity, salty! I found it funny if you leave anything he mixes it together in the bowl and hands you the spoon. Everything did taste great though.

We left there feeling just the right amount of full. It was definitely good food at a reasonable price and I like that he suggests the dishes, otherwise I would stick to my faithful favourites and not try anything too new. We could definitely do with a restaurant like this at home! He is also super friendly and makes the time to come and chat to every customer which is nice and quite unique.

Afterward I had promised Chris we would try to find the Lost beach and the camp where ‘the others’ lived. This was right by Hale’iwa and easy enough to find straight down the 930 road. The first stop was Mokule’ia beach – the setting for the base camp and main beaches. It was really pretty and secluded here, once we made a left turn from the parking area we were the only people around. We wandered all the way along, and at one point I counted 9 turtles in the water – perhaps this was the real turtle beach.

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It was super hot and there wasn’t a lot of shade until we reached the trees. We walked around by the base camp area but didn’t go inside due to the no trespassing signs. It was interesting to see and Chris was more than happy being the lost obsessive that he is/was. We then drove on to YCMA camp Erdman otherwise known as ‘the others’ camp. This hasn’t changed at all since the show so we both found it a bit creepy as though we had been teleported there!

Once we were done we drove back toward Hale’iwa. We were tempted to head out to the leeward coast but it would have been a bit of a long drive from where we were. We decided just to go for a snorkel at Sharks Cove and then head back to Waikiki. As we were passing, we stopped off at Turtle Beach again where another beastie was taking a nap on the sand; I think his name was Brutus.

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Chris went for a little snorkel there when out of nowhere it tipped it down with rain so we made a speedy run for the car. My skin was so hot from all the sun that the rain felt absolutely freezing! The road by Turtle Beach is always busy – both times it has been a bit of a mission to get back across. We drove down to Sharks Cove but big rain clouds were still hovering above so we didn’t stay long. I stayed put this time while Chris went out to explore. He said there was a big variety of fish and OK visibility, I presume it would have been much better if it was sunny! We tried to find a shave ice place on our way back toward Waikiki but had no luck.

We carried on via the 99 highway and just zoomed straight through without stopping off. We parked up and both decided we were craving some fro-yo so made a pilgrimage to Yogurtland for round two! Mine was an avalanche of toppings again, those mochi balls are addictive. We planned to drive to the Ward centre and Walmart to do a bit of shopping but after checking out one side of the Ward centre I wasn’t too excited. There was a TJ Maxx (known to us as TK Maxx) over the street where I picked up some Hawaii made souvenirs and a travel pillow, but after that we gave up as the rain was back – Walmart would have to wait for another day.

We headed back to Waikiki to drop off our stuff and took a walk around Kuhio and Lewers streets. We hadn’t made it to the area of Lewers where there was lots going on so made a note to come back – there was a Sicilian restaurant there which looked nice too. I was feeling tired and not quite right so suggested we head back to the room and get some take out. Chris for some strange reason really wanted a chicken burger from the Cheesecake Factory which was very random so I ordered a pizza from there, Kalua pork with mango.

He went to pick it up after 20 minutes but my pizza was stone cold – not what you want when you don’t feel too great! Thankfully his burger was nice, and they gave us the complimentary bread so I mostly nibbled on that. We did our usual chilling out in the room with random crime TV before bed.

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About crazyblondechick

Travel. Food. Pretty Things. etc.
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2 Responses to Day 14: Oahu: The best cure for a fish phobia is jumping into a cage to watch sharks…

  1. katie says:

    I know this is a totally random question but what sort of sea sickness pills do you use? I need some super-strength ones! Spent a plane ride over oahu being sick into a bag, and a submarine ride in Egypt in the toilet of the boat! I’m fine if the boat’s moving fast; I just can’t handle the bobbing around. (Also, love love love this blog… We’re heading back in October so it’s making me even more excited!)

    • Hiya, sorry i’ve only just seen this, I think the brand we got was called Stugeron. They sold them behind the counter at Sainsbury’s and they did the job just fine. Although I don’t really have extreme motion sickness so you might need to see if the doctor has something stronger! Hope you have a great trip, not long to go!

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