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Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

I would love to see a whitetip reef shark on my trip to the Big Island this June. This trip I will only be snorkeling, not diving. Does anybody know of a particularly good spot to observe one? I know early mornings are the best time to see them and I know not to harrass them but could you offer any tips on finding a frequent whitetip haunt? Thanks!

Houston, TX
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1. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

I saw one exactly one week ago at Mauna Kea Beach, at about 10:00-10:30 am. It was 4-5 feet long, out near the far side of the reef on the north side of the cove, in about 20 feet of water. I was with my wife who was about 10 feet behind me, and was glad that she missed it, as she gets nervous about such things.... But regardless of whether you see one, there is plenty to see and enjoy at that beach. Best of luck to you.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

Thanks Texas! I'll give that area a shot. In years of snorkeling the only shark Ive seen was a very small nurse shark in Dry Tortugas. Im hoping this will be the lucky trip. :)

Island of Hawaii...
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3. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

Shea has frequently mentioned the sharks at Puʻukohola heiau, at which spot there is a submerged temple that was dedicated to the shark gods. I canʻt recall if she said white tips. I know there are black tip reef sharks there. You are not supposed to snorkel there, out of respect, and the shark viewing is from above. Puʻukohola is adjacent to Spencer.

The most frequent big shark (tiger shark) sightings here are from Hapuna to Spencer (this includes Kaunaʻoa), so there is something in that stretch of coastline that appeals to sharks.

btw, it is fun to see the shark pond at the Mauna Lani, which has hammerheads.

PS. I found a post by Shea regarding sharks from last fall:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29217-i268-k57575…

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

Thank you KamaainaK! I had planned a morning visit to Puʻukohola heiau anyway, so I will try to locate the lookout area while I am there. Thank you too for the warning against snorkeling in the area of the submerged heiau. I will certainly take your advice.

Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

Youʻre welcome. Iʻm sure Shea will have better tips when she sees your topic. Today is King Kamehameha Day, so maybe she is at the festivities?

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

No, there are no particular spots that are better than another for white tips, it's pretty much just luck. Shark sightings are very rare here for snorkelers. I've seen a lot of sharks here while diving, but interestingly a lot more hammerheads and tigers than white tip reef sharks!

KK, I was enjoying the start of La Dolce Vita week. Today was the WOW farm tour and lunch, it was awesome! :-)

Salt Lake City, Utah
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7. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

Well, Happy Kamehameha Day to you both and thanks for taking time to respond. Hopefully, on my next visit I will finally have a chance to dive the big island. This time Ill just hope for good luck. I would see hammerheads from a dock I would fish from in Florida. I bet it is an incredible experience seeing them glide past you underwater. Such amazing creatures.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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8. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

Shea, were you unnerved by the Tigers? How often do you see them? I have relatives who spearfish regularly in Maui and they have yet to see one. They had a good scare from a Galapogos once! Did you see your hammerheads in Kealakekua Bay?

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

I'm always unnerved when I see tiger sharks. I used to dive regularly with some guys who made it a point to look for them and knew good spots, that's the only reason I've had several sightings. We even went diving once near a whale carcass to watch several tigers coming in for the kill. It was awesome. But yeah, unnerving. I swim several times a week here though and in almost 20 years I've only seen a tiger shark once while swimming. My s/o has been here more than 30 years swimming regularly and has never seen a shark here *of any kind*.

Hammerheads have been my most frequent shark sighting in Hawaii, but always while diving, never swimming, and no, never in Kealakekua Bay.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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10. Re: Know a particularly good spot to see whitetip reef sharks?

How incredible Shea...You guys are brave. I hope you shot some good footage!

Well, Texas...it sounds like you had a pretty lucky sighting. One more week before my trip. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Thanks again all for the advice.