Tiger Shark Near Fairmont Orchid

My friend Rachel asked me if I had seen the drone video floating around of a tiger shark cruising very near shore, amongst unsuspecting snorkelers probably from the Fairmont Orchid. The drone video location was just south of the Fairmont Orchid where we open water swim regularly. During the COVID lockdown months in 2020, the resort lap pool was closed and our masters group could not meet. We started a 3-day a week, early morning swim, from our Mauna Lani Beach Club at Makaiwa Bay to the dive buoy at Peaks surf break, just North of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel (Auberge). When time and weather conditions permitted, we would swim further to the Fairmont beach, take a break and swim back-2.6 miles round trip.

This video is of a tiger shark cruising in the shallow water exactly where I’d clip the corner and enter the narrow entrance into the Fairmont’s beach. The rest of the crew would stay in deeper water and take a more direct route into the Fairmont. Note the narrow entrance into the Fairmont beach on the video when it zooms out to show the shoreline. Notice the dorsal fin exposed illustrating how shallow the water depth is and the snorkelers who never saw it. This area has a lot of sea turtles as there are large boulders located there with plenty of Limu (seaweed) for the turtles to consume. These same turtles rest on the beach in front of Brown’s Beach House Restaurant in the early evenings numbering 15-20 usually. The shark undoubtedly saw the snorkelers, but didn’t seem interested. I have no idea who captured the drone footage. It did confirm what we’ve always speculated which is tiger sharks are everywhere near where we swim and surf.

On our recent early morning walk/run, I saw Kawika Ruddle at the boat house getting ready for a day of diving tours. I asked him if he had seen the same video. He said he had and asked me if we were going to continue our open water swims. I told him “of course”. It’s still less than the odds of getting struck by lightning than to be harmed by one of these beautiful animals – so why NOT 🙂.  I’m still going to surf until dark-thirty also!! Lissette hates when I do that but…oh well!

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