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The Best Features Of Oahu

Shark’s Cove

By Jonathan Howery

A great photo op on the Hawaii Turtle Tour is on the North Shore of Oahu to see Shark’s Cove. This spot is rated by Scuba Diving Magazine as one of the “Top Twelve Shore Dives in the World.” This petite rocky bay forms part of Pupukea Beach Park on the North Shore and boasts blue water with an impressive amount of sea life. The walls of the immediate bluffs provide calm water inviting schooling surface fish and the bottom is made up of large smooth boulders. There are coral heads which form small caves and ledges where marine life can hide: Butterfly fish, eels, big eye, parrot fish, goat fish, damsel fish, surgeon fish, tang, wrasse, perch, chub, triggerfish, jacks, mullet, cornet fish, needle fish, crustaceans, and invertebrates. Also turtles, you can’t forget the turtles!

Sharks Cove is not a sand beach and the entrance is rocky, so watch your step as you get in. The inside of the bay is about 8 to 15 feet deep, progressively getting deeper as you head out. Beware because there is no lifeguard on duty. The Pupukea tide pools are on the south side of Sharks Cove. This is a good spot for wading and exploring. Sharks Cove is thought to be one of Oahu’s best snorkeling and dive beaches. It is possible that you will encounter crowds on occasion but once in the water, you probably won’t even notice.

Sharks Cove is located between the Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline. October through April is considered Hawaii’s surf season. Waves peak between December and February, so the summer months are the best time to snorkel Sharks Cove. Another favorite Oahu snorkeling beach might be safer and Kuilima Cove is only 15 minutes north from Sharks Cove. Unless you are just going to wade in the waters or explore the tide pools, it is not recommended taking small children to swim in the open and deep bay.

Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at


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