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 of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

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

Sensation diving in Rangiroa

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

I left the story of my Polynesian stay in the background... And I'm still rediscovering a lot of videos and photos that are sleeping in the bottom of my hard drive.

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

I've put together a few clips in the little video montage below:

It is the excellent small center Y Aka Diving who organizes the outing.

(They are also the ones who took me to see the Dolphins of Tiputa pass, as well as its famous "wall" or "carpet" of sharks... of which I unfortunately didn't manage to bring back any images, due to my camera stuck in "manual focus" mode. 😖 But I will tell you 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.

The regulations require that smelling dives be made offshore, far enough from the pass and the island, so as not to disturb the behavior of the sharks.

Silky shark. Rangiroa, French Polynesia. October 2012.A bonito is placed in a small cage, 15 meters under water. Its "smell" attracts the attention of the 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 stills: stay together underwater, always face the sharks, be attentive to the signs of Thomas, who guides the dive, and signals us each new shark that appears with a small discreet "ding" while banging on its tank.

Sensational dive, a bit dizzying... There is only blue all around and under our fins, no visual landmark, except the small dancing cage, connected to a buoy shaken by the swell on the surface.

The heart beats a little stronger, 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 a nice size, with a hook still attached to the corner of its 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 were slowly going back to the surface, watching the turns of this silky shark which is not intimidated by our bubbles, a dolphin suddenly appears and dances around us, before going away in the blue...

Nice epilogue for an exceptional dive.

Polynesia... to be continued!

I still have so many things to tell about Polynesia!!! This short stay in October 2012 led 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 travel friend, who enjoyed an excursion to the well 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

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. seeing sharks is always a great encounter!
    When I went to Bora Bora a dozen years ago, I did several dives outside the lagoon and sharks were everywhere and of all sizes!
    In the lagoon, there were also black tips and white tips.
    There may be fewer sharks since ...

    1. @Laurence: Oh no, there's no shortage of sharks on Rangiroa. In the Tiputa pass, there's a veritable "carpet" of sharks. But sometimes they're a bit deep, down to 50-60 m. It was spectacular. In the blue lagoon (see the link at the end of this post to the blog Plus Loin de ma pote), you can see lots of blacktip sharks.

      The idea was to do a different dive, in the blue, hoping to see species that we don't usually see in the channel or lagoons.

  2. Ah yes! Magnificent! 🙂 It brings back so many memories: I experienced exactly the same thing 17 years ago in Rangiroa!!! I remember it all the more because that's where I first started diving! What's more, I was filmed...on Vhs! Unfortunately, now unreadable! 🙁 So I'll have to go back!

    1. @Married: In fact, on this dive, it was the blue that impressed me the most. I'm not at all afraid of sharks, at least not as much as I am of this immense blue as far as the eye can see...

  3. I hardly dare write it! As far as I'm concerned, mice and sharks are the same phobia... stupid, I'll grant you; stronger, though, towards sharks!
    Anyway, terribly impressed by the photos and the article! 😉

  4. Thank you Corinne for these wonderful images! It's great to share them and your story with us!
    At Y Aka, we very 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 tip reef shark, which are very rarely seen during dives in the passes and close to the 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!! 🙂

      Thank you for all these details. It is, quite literally, an exceptional dive, indeed. And I was really lucky to have been able to do it with Y Aka during my stay.

      As I wrote earlier in the post, and also in a comment to Laurence, it was a new experience for me, an opportunity to do a different kind of dive, and to observe species that we don't usually see.

      I have wonderful memories of it!!!!

      One year already. Time has flown by so quickly since then... I've fallen staggeringly behind in my various travel reports. In any case, I dream of coming back to Polynesia, to Rangiroa, but also to discover other islands...

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

  5. Thank you Corinne for these beautiful images. They make me dream and make me want to go to this part of the world. One of these 4 but work is preventing me for the moment.
    This deep-sea diving reminds me of Hawaii, where once when I went there, on Big Island, we were offered a night dive to see strange species rise up from the abyss that we can't normally see. Like in Nemo, they come up to see the light of our flashlight. I've never done it. I don't like having the void beneath me. I like to know that the bottom is somewhere not too far away... Nevertheless, I think I would have joined you to see these Polynesian sharks. Thanks for your time! Happy diving and let's discover more of the sea. Elizabeth

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

      I don't really like not having a visual reference point around me either. I don't mind not being able to see the bottom, as long as there's a reef, a drop-off, something solid and visible not too far away...

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


  6. Hello !
    Thank you for this really great and useful blog for all globe-trotting divers 🙂
    Sorry to interrupt, but I'd like to ask you a quick question about Polynesia.... In terms of diving and snorkeling, is it really a top-class destination? I'm hesitating this year between a Polynesian trip, or Asia with Sipadan and Komodo, or even Raja Ampat perhaps.
    I sometimes get the impression that 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 haven't seen much of Polynesia underwater, "only" Rangiroa and Maupiti, so I'm not necessarily a very good judge... But here are my impressions.

      I had been warned, before I went there (October 2012), that coral was far from the explosion of color and profusion of Indonesia. So I knew what to expect, and for the sites I've dived in Polynesia, it's indeed bland and a bit sad, compared to Indonesian sites on the level of Sipadan, Raja Ampat or Komodo.

      On the other hand, in Polynesia it's easy to come across "big stuff", sharks in particular, and dolphins, and it's spectacular.

      I'm a big fan of Indonesia, which offers a wide variety of spectacular dives for all levels. What's more, it's a lot cheaper than Polynesia, in terms of airfares, accommodation, local travel, diving trips, food, and so on.

    2. Thank you for your answer and your return!
      I think I'll be heading for Asia, and I'm going to be inspired by your very useful advice!

      Thank you again, See you soon!

  7. This summer, we were on the island of Kanawa (near Flores/Indonesia) where friendly reef sharks were circling us. Already, it didn't reassure me, even though we know they're harmless. In any case, your experience was truly impressive. Bravo for this beautiful report and these magnificent images.

    1. @Richard: my mother doesn't believe me when I try to explain that I have absolutely nothing to fear from sharks...
      That said, this experience was different from a chance encounter along a reef. Here, in the middle of the blue, with a scented "y'a à bouffer" bait to lure them in, the adrenalin level goes up a notch, all the same...

  8. Hello Corinne!

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