Molokai Take 2!
These are also not hammerheads.
As a sort of epilogue, two years and two hundred dives later I returned with my good friend Steve in August during peak season. I was ready for the rough channel crossing this time and immediately started singing. With my hammerhead cherry popped, I was ready to see some serious sharks. Again, we were dropped off the back of the live boat and descended, this time into the largest pod of dolphins I’ve ever seen. Baitfish ran scared from the predators that seemed to come from everywhere. Tuna, wahoo, and dolphins ran through presumably getting their fill. Anywhere else and this would make my day but again, my gaze was fixed to the blue. With the mammalian shroud lifted, we started seeing sharks everywhere. Our first dive produced more hammerheads than we could reliably count. They came by in schools of 8 or so, usually led by a single large individual followed by a tight grouping.
I was exuberant during the surface interval, enthusiastically grabbing for our provided turkey wrap lunch and chowing down. Steve attempted to follow in suit. As he took his first bite, I watched the green wash over his face. Without saying a word, he calmly handed me the rest of his meal and wandered off. I watched as he found a lonely spot off the stern, perhaps the only spot where nobody else was standing. It would have been a perfect spot for a bit of peace in his moment of weakness. But as he took a knee preparing for the inevitable lurch, someone yelled, “dolphins, off the stern!” Thirty customers sprinted to crowd around Steve’s circle of solace just as he let fly with a glorious spray of breakfast topped with a bite of turkey wrap.
By the end of that day, we had racked up about 100 dolphins, countless tuna and countless hammerheads. In Moku Ho’oniki I had found more than just my goal, I had found a unique adventure the likes of which few will encounter.
Because the sharks are so weary yet curious of divers, they come in to take a look but maintain a safe distance of around 30 feet, making for grainy, blue photography.