Silky shark and diver. Rangiroa, French Polynesia. October 2012.
Silky shark and diver. Rangiroa, French Polynesia. October 2012.

Polynesian Sharks

  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

A short video flashback: in October 2012, I set out to meet sharks in the blue of the Pacific Ocean, off Rangiroa, Polynesia.

Sensation diving in Rangiroa

The Malaysian shark filmed in Sipadanin my previous post reminded me of Polynesian sharks. Yes, exactly one year ago, in October 2012, I was in Rangiroa... So many memories!

I left the story of my Polynesian stay ... And I rediscover, still, lots of videos and photos that sleep at the bottom of my hard drive.

So I continue on the "sharks" theme, with this unusual dive, done near Rangiroa Island, following the "smelling" technique, which aims to attract sharks by diffusing a fishy smell in the water (unlike "feeding" which consists in feeding them with bait).

I have gathered some sequences in the small video montage below:

It's the excellent little center Y Aka Diving who organizes the outing.

(They were also the ones who took me to see the Dolphins of the Tiputa pass, as well as its famous "wall" or "carpet" of sharks... of which I unfortunately couldn't bring back any pictures, due to a camera stuck in "manual focus" mode. 😖 But I'll tell you all about it one day soon.  → See the article here : Diving among sharks in Polynesia)

The beach of the Y Aka Diving center in Rangiroa. French Polynesia. October 2012.

Regulations require that smelling dives be made offshore, far enough away from the channel and the island so as not to disturb the behaviour of the sharks.

Silky shark. Rangiroa, French Polynesia. October 2012.A bonito is placed in a small cage, 15 m underwater. Its "fumet" attracts the attention of sharks, which come up from the depths and appear in the blue, a few meters away from us.

The instructions to our small group of four divers, equipped with cameras and cameras: stay together underwater, always face the sharks, be attentive to the signs of Thomas, who guides the dive, and warns us of each new shark that comes out of a small discreet "ding" by banging on his tank.

Diving sensation, a little dizzying ... There is only blue around and under our fins, no visual cue, except the small cage that dances, connected to a buoy shaken by the swell on the surface.

The heart beats a little louder, each time the shadow of a shark appears, in the infinite blue of the Pacific ...

Several sharks will come around the cage, but only one will stay with us for a long time. A silky shark of quite good size, with a hook hanging on the corner of his mouth.

Silky shark. Rangiroa, French Polynesia. October 2012.

Silky shark and diver. Rangiroa, French Polynesia. October 2012.

Silky shark. Rangiroa, French Polynesia. October 2012.

At the end of the dive, as we slowly ascend to the surface watching the twists and turns of this silky shark that is hardly intimidated by our bubbles, a dolphin appears suddenly and comes to dance around us, before moving away in blue…

Beautiful epilogue for an exceptional dive.

Polynesia... to be continued!

I still have so much to tell you about Polynesia !!! This short stay in October 2012 took me to Tahiti, Maupiti, Rangiroa, Moorea

In Maupiti, Polynesia, October 2012.

I have already published several articles, which you can find at the end of this link :

Polynesia Travel - October 2012

Finally, to stay in the "sharks" theme, I invite you to discover at the end of the link below the video of my traveling girlfriend, who took advantage of an excursion to the aptly named Blue Lagoon, where she discovered the frenzy of black tip sharks. Unusual and spectacular!

A blue lagoon, sharks and salt skin


  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012

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  1. see the sharks is always a great meeting!
    I do not quite understand why to attract sharks, when I went to Bora Bora, a dozen years ago, I made several dives outside the lagoon and sharks there were everywhere and all sizes!
    In the lagoon, there were also black tips and white tips.
    There may be fewer sharks since ...

    1. @Laurence: oh no, there are plenty of sharks in Rangiroa. In the Tiputa pass, there is a real "carpet" of sharks. But they are sometimes a little deep, up to 50-60 m. It was spectacular. On the side of the blue lagoon (see the link that I put at the end of post to the blog More Away from my friend), we can see plenty of sharks black tip.

      The idea was to do a different dive, in the blue, hoping to see species that are not usually seen in the pass or the lagoons.

  2. Ah yes! Wonderful ! 🙂 It brings back so many memories : I lived exactly the same thing 17 years ago in Rangiroa ! I remember it all the more because it's there that I made my first diving experience ! And on top of that, I had been Vhs !!! Unfortunately, it became unreadable ! 🙁 So, I have to go back there, that's it!

    1. @Married: in fact, during this dive, it's the blue that impressed me the most. Sharks do not cause me much apprehension, in any case much less than this immensity blue as far as the eye can see ...

  3. I hardly dare to write it! For me, mice and sharks, same phobia ... stupid, I grant it easily; stronger despite all with regard to the sharks!
    Anyway, terribly impressed by the photos and the article! 😉

  4. Thank you Corinne for these beautiful pictures! It's great to share these pictures and the story of your experience with us!
    AY Aka, we only rarely organize these exceptional dives; the aim of "smelling" far from the pass and in the blue is to observe species such as the silky shark or the white reef shark that are only rarely seen during dives in the passes and near the sea. reef.
    The silky shark is shark living offshore (pelagic) and also an opportunistic predator, coming for potential prey to the surface. The encounter with this shark is as impressive as it is captivating!

    Thanks again for sharing

    1. @Katy: What a pleasure to read a little message from you here!! 🙂

      Thanks for all the details. It is, literally, an exceptional dive, indeed. And I was really lucky to have been able to make this trip with Y Aka during my stay.

      As I wrote earlier in the post, and also in comment to Laurence, it was for me an unprecedented experience, the opportunity to do a different dive, and observe species that we do not usually see.

      I keep a beautiful memory!

      One year already. Time has gone so fast since ... I took an astonishing delay in my various travel stories. In any case, I dream of returning to Polynesia, Rangiroa, but also to discover other islands ...

      Big kisses to all (Marco, Thomas) and good bubbles!

  5. Thank you Corinne for these beautiful pictures. It makes you dream and you give me the taste to leave in this corner of country. One of his 4 but work prevents me for the moment.
    This dive on the high seas makes me think of Hawaii, where once when I went to Big Island, I was offered a night dive to see the abyss of strange species that we can not see in normal times. . As in Nemo, they go back to see the light of our flashlight. I have never done it. I do not like to have emptiness under me. I like to know that the bottom is somewhere not too far away ... Nevertheless, I think I would join you to see these Polynesian sharks. Thank you! Good dives and we still discover the sea. Elizabeth

    1. @Elizabeth: it gives me great pleasure to discover a little message from you here! 🙂

      I do not really like having a visual cue around me either. Do not see the bottom does not bother me, as long as there is a reef, a drop, something solid and visible not too far ...

      French Polynesia is beautiful, but so vast, that it is better to have enough time and a good budget to start exploring it a bit ...


  6. Hello !
    Thank you for this really great and useful blog for all globe-trotting divers 🙂
    Sorry to disturb, but I have a little question, about Polynesia precisely .... At the purely diving & snorkeling level, is it really a top class destination? I hesitate this year between a trip Polynesia, or Asia with Sipadan and Komodo, even Raja Ampat can be.
    I sometimes feel like it's a very touristy destination with lots of shark feeding and few corals ... but maybe I'm wrong !!

    I tell you that my companion and buddy diver is level 1, 30 dives. We would rather be fans of dives in the 30m, with a beautiful fauna of reefs.

    Thank you in advance for your return! have a good day

    1. @Patrice: Frankly, I have not seen much about Polynesia underwater, "only" Rangiroa and Maupiti, so I'm not necessarily a very good judge ... But here are my impressions.

      I was warned, before I went there (October 2012), that coral question, we were far from the explosion of colors and the profusion of Indonesia. So I knew what to expect, and for the sites where I dived in Polynesia, it is actually bland and a little sad, compared to Indonesian sites of the level of Sipadan, Raja Ampat or Komodo.

      On the other hand, it is easy in Polynesia to meet "big", sharks in particular, and dolphins, and it is spectacular.

      I am a fan of Indonesia, which offers a variety of spectacular dives for all levels. And it is still much cheaper than Polynesia, whether for airfare, accommodation, travel on site, diving, food, etc.

    2. Thank you for your answer and your return!
      I think it's going to be Asia so, and I'm going to be inspired by your very useful tips!

      Thank you again, See you soon!

  7. This summer, we were on Kanawa Island (near Flores / Indonesia) where nice reef sharks were circling us. Already, it did not reassure me even if we know that they are harmless. In any case, the experience you have experienced is truly impressive. Congratulations for this beautiful report and these beautiful images.

    1. @Richard: my mother does not believe me, when I try to explain to her that I have absolutely nothing to fear from sharks ...
      That said, this experience was different from the encounter of chance along a reef. Here, in the middle of the blue, with a scented bait meaning "there's enough to eat" to attract them, the adrenaline rises a notch, anyway ...

  8. Hello Corinne!

    Thank you for this great article!
    The super impressive video!
    It makes you want ..