Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos in great masses. The term: “have you also seen the grey reef shark?” after the dive is now somehow spoiled. Enjoyable at the shark pass of the Bikini Atoll, but see for yourself!
The Shark Pass is in the Bikini Atoll which is part of the Marshall Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is basically as far away as you can get from any other place along the equator.
There are two spots there, that can bee seen from space.
The castle bravo crater in the northwest, where a poor understanding of lithium 6 and 7 isotopes, led to the largest unplanned nuclear disaster of the US…
…and, far more enjoyable: the shark pass in the southwest!
Our dive briefing was a little unsettling for me:
‘Do not jump into the water!
This makes them curious and they may bump you.
This sometimes makes people nervous…’
Well, now I am nervous…
Looking around: 3, wait 5, no 12, OK forget about counting, but how do I get through? OK, I will make myself invisible and dive below them…
Some sources claim this shark pass has the highest permanent grey reef shark density on earth. There is definitely always a nice school of grey reef sharks as well as some silver and black tips.
My personal theory for the density is, that this is simply due to the remote location and the shape and depth of the channel that forms a perfect funnel into the lagoon.
Some sources claim, the channel has been bombed into the atoll by the exploration ship USS Sumner to pave the way for the larger ships to follow with 90 tons of dynamite, but I think it has been used somewhere else. It is really a great diver lifetime experience, when the sharks explore you – a very nice twist!
The trip to the shark pass was a great escape from our wreck diving. Exceptional visibility, nice colors and life – and even though we had plenty of gas left, we had to get back.