Shark Dive at Beqa Island
Mark here, the other half of this Fiji honeymoon pair. I am chipping in here to contribute my latest dive experience to the blog.
Being new to diving I had never thought I’d be swimming with a massive tiger shark on my first ever certified dive but I loved it. It was an absolutely amazing experience, and one that I can’t do justice in writing but I’ll try anyway.
I completed my first dives in Zanzibar, Africa over 10 years ago, but never completed the PADI certification. Living in Fiji this year meant completing my PADI Open Water certification was a definite on the bucket list.
I had heard about the shark dive at Beqa so a few mates and I decided to head down to Beqa to give it go, I’m here to tell the tale that we all survived and it was definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done. Seeing these giant apex predators up close in their own underwater backyard was awesome.
If you love sharks or just diving experiences that show you more than just coral or fish then I would definitely recommend this experience as you can see in my video below.
Stepping onto the boat, all our fears were further elevated when we were greeted with a friendly “Hello shark bait….” The dive crew were funny like that and obviously love what they do.
The boat ride took about 40min to get to the dive site called ‘The Cathedral’. Once we were all set, we descended to a depth of 24m and lined up along an artificial wall about 500mm high. Behind us, armed with blunt metal rods, were the dive crew, ready to keep any overly curious sharks at bay!
Within seconds of the first load of bait emptying from submerged containers, there were literally sharks everywhere. We were told before the dive that the bull sharks would be the big ones, with a range of other smaller sharks joining in for the feeding. They included, black tip reef sharks, white tip reef sharks, and lemon sharks. Prior to the dive we were told if we heard a tapping sound, prepare yourself.... there will be a tiger shark lurking.
About 5min into the dive an instructor was pounding his safety rod on the sea floor. Suddenly, a HUGE tiger shark appeared from the abyss! She hung around for the remainder of the dive, taking first pick at the tuna heads the staff were offering.
At no time did I feel unsafe, even with the tiger shark passing about one metre over my head! The second dive was a carbon copy of the first, although I felt like I was able to soak it all up even better as I was not as overwhelmed by the display nature was putting on in front of me!
We booked out dive through Beqa Lagoon Resort via email and a follow up phone call. The dive team there were very professional and we felt safe the whole time.
The actual dive site is in the channel between Beqa Island and Pacific Harbour, about a 1 hour bus ride from Suva about 3 hours from Nadi.
It cost us $300FJD for a two tank dive, and that included the hire of all equipment.
Who this is suited to
It was my first dive since getting Open Water certified, and I had no problems at all. I would recommend that anyone with PADI Open Water (or equivalent) certification should do this dive.
I had only been to 18m prior to this dive, and had no problems with the descent or ascent to/from 24m. Each dive lasted around 30 min with a surface interval of around an hour.
If you’re not 100% confident with your weights, I would suggest go for negatively buoyant because it’s all about sitting on the bottom and watching.
Shark feeding is a controversial topic, so if you’re dead against it then don’t bother, if you don’t have an issue with it, or like me were curious to make up your own mind, then I would highly recommend this dive.
Until my next post, safe diving and keep your eyes peeled for those tiger sharks.