Scuba Diving with Bull Sharks – Adventure Series

Every other Thursday I share a travel experience from the past. With 4 years of non-stop travel and 3 years of part time travel I have a lot to get through! From the highs of skidiving to the depths of scuba diving – and everything in between, let me inspire you to try something new!


Scuba SharkThe adventure series – Issue 6: Scuba diving with sharks

As some of you may be aware, I have joined forces with the Adventure in You team and so this epic episode of the Adventure Series will be hosted by them.

here’s a little snippet of what’s in store:

I would like to introduce you to my love/hate relationship with Scuba diving. I love the thought of scuba diving – as a child I always wanted to be a mermaid so the whole breathing underwater thing really ticks that box, as well as the fact that there is as much to see below the water as there is above: the amazing sea life, beautiful coral, shipwrecks from bygone time and even sunken cities –  why wouldn’t I love scuba diving?

Adventure Series Shark

Well, the problem is, I’m not very good at it. It never crossed my mind when I booked our PADI Open Water course with Simple Life Divers on Koh Tao (Thailand) that Scuba Diving was something I couldn’t immediately and effortlessly do. I mean, I love the water and have always been a strong swimmer – it never occurred to me that I would struggle to equalize or need a different number of weights each time I dive – or that I actually get really bad seasickness on rough seas. And it is for that reason that I also hate scuba diving (just a little bit). It shouldn’t really be a reason to hate it, but I’m a perfectionist and I’ve always told myself that if I want to do something, I can do it – and be good at it. (Remember my ‘jump of the day’ when Bungee Jumping?!) But I persevere. And it is *always* worth it.

so, how did I end up Scuba Diving with Bull Sharks in open water?

After getting our Open Water certification in Koh Tao, we moved down to Koh Phangan and found ourselves on a very quiet, almost private beach. We were approached by a woman who simply asked

Adventure Series SharkMy eyes lit up (remember the whole Adrenalin junkie thing?!), Gavin looked a little concerned, but we went with it as she explained that she worked for Sail Rock Divers Resort who specialized in taking dive groups out to Sail Rock which was touted as one of the best dive sites on the Gulf of Thailand. Let me tell you, It did not disappoint.

related: Looking for more scuba inspiration? Click here for other Scuba Dive Bucket List Ideas!
We were taught the hand signal for sharks

Before diving in we were taught the hand signal for shark. You may or may not be surprised that it is putting your hand on your head like a fin. The staff explained that Sail Rock was the only landmass between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao and so supported the breeding cycle of many species and that we may see a large whale shark that frequented the area, but if not, we would definitely see some Bull sharks. They advised us that we might have to swim a little out from the rock as they often didn’t come too close, but I was ok with that – I just wanted to see one (or two or three!)

Making our way down to about 12-15m was just incredible. There were so many different types of exotic fish and colourful coral – and my eyes were firmly peeled and on the lookout for a shark – whale or bull – I wasn’t bothered, either one would do!

Adventure Series Scuba

Searching for sharks..

Adventure Series Sharks

Are you intrigued?  Want to find out how it all ended? I bet you are!
Head on over to Adventure in You article Scuba Diving with Bull Skarks in Koh Phangan for the original full article – or you can click the image below!
Adventure Series Sharks
Do you scuba dive? Have you dived with sharks? Would you want to – scuba diver or not? Let me know in the comments below!
And for those of you that are not shark fans or scuba divers – or just think I’m plain crazy – here’s a picture of the beautiful Haad Salad beach (where we stayed) which will hopefully spare you any nightmares I have created about of diving with sharks!
Happy Travels 🙂
Adventure Series Sharks .


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44 thoughts on “Scuba Diving with Bull Sharks – Adventure Series

  1. Brooke Herron says:

    hahah I Like your comment about those of us you gave nightmares about shark diving… that’s me! I would never have any interest in going under water to look at something that scary (to me) but I know a lot of people (my ex included) who love diving regardless of how dangerous the creatures are that tey are near!
    I’m always in awe of people who were born without fear of things like this. I’m pretty fearless about the big things in life (solo travel, putting myself out there, speaking in front of large groups, etc), but not about things with teeth that can kill me. Or spiders. Or creepy crawly bugs.:)

    Nice beach photo!

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Brooke – you’re a better person than me if you’re good at the big stuff! I hate public speaking! Also not a fan of spiders or creepy crawlies.. but I’m getting better the longer I live in Australia!

  2. Anne says:

    Really nice post! I still have to go see a doctor to check if my ears are cleared for diving. Had some problems as a kid well they advised me against diving. So jealous of everyone who can! Great post 🙂 .

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Anne, shame about your ear issues – but better to be safe than sorry. I sometimes get terrible pain when I don’t/can’t equalize properly (with no pre-existing ear problems) so be sure to get yourself cleared if you want to give it a try!

  3. Liz says:

    I wanna learn to dive sooooooo bad!!! I reckon I’d be bad at it too hahaha I’m rubbish at swimming even though I love it! Love the article, you’re very brave 😛

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Liz – you should give it a try – my partner really didn’t think he was going to like Scuba Diving and it turns out he is way better at it than me!

  4. Paulina says:

    Everytime I see such an incredible-underwater-experience story I regret that I didn’t overcome my fear of going underwater yet. That will probably never happen, I tried… 🙂 I believe that it was amazing to see those beautiful creatures up close. I’ve only been close to smaller sharks on the Karimunjawa Islands in Indonesia, but they were kept in a divided area of a bay. It was great to see them swim around you, but I also had mixed feelings because I wasn’t sure if it was animal friendly etc.. It’s much better to see them in their natural enviroment, like you did. Great story 🙂

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Paulina – scuba diving can be hard and if you’re not a fan of the water to start with, even worse! Kudos to you though for getting in with the Sharks in Indonesia and facing your fear!

  5. Jo says:

    What a great read. I have a love hate kinda fling with diving too …but bull sharks..hell yeah I will take it up any day. Also koh phangan … I only went there for the full moon party so far… Time to put it back on my list .

  6. mark says:

    Great stuff what an experience it must be to see the sharks close up. It would be an adrenaline experience excitement mixed with fear possibly. I guess not many people would think of the difficulties that go with diving such as weights and equalizing

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Mark! I was one of those people who didn’t think about weights and equalizing until I started diving – it definitely is a ‘practice makes perfect’ kind of thing – it’s just too expensive to ‘practice’ all the time!

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Karla – one of my favorite parts was learning the signal for shark – and describing the scenario of indicating shark underwater always makes me smile!

  7. Jessica says:

    Wow, you are brave! I would love to get my Scuba certification but am really worried about sharks! I’m currently in Australia and we have a lot of bull sharks in the lake by my house, but they are really viscous and occasionally there are attacks. I think I would panic if I saw one!

  8. Katharina says:

    I loooooove to scuba dive – ok, I should since I am an instructor 😉 But even though sharks are seen as dangerous and killing machines, this image couldn’t be more wrong. The number of people dying from a shark accident are below 20 a year. More people die from taking selfies – no kidding, so beware you bloggers and selfie lovers out there! Oh, and actually those who get bitten are usually no scuba divers but surfers, swimmers and snorklers. So if you are afraid of sharks but love the ocean: go scuba diving
    I think the more you dive the more eager you will become to see sharks. They are amazing under water. I personally never dived with bull sharks but with oceanics and hammerheads. Some of the best dives I ever had!

  9. Aimee says:

    I would love to try this, even though I’m terrified of sharks. Have dived with nurse sharks before but nothing as ‘scary’ as bull sharks. Well done you 🙂

  10. Sarah says:

    Oh wow! You’re so lucky to see a shark! The coolest thing I’ve seen was a really big barracuda. I think I’ve also got a fascination with scuba for that mermaid mindset and I’m glad I’m not the only one who was a bit frustrated when starting out. 😛

  11. melanie says:

    How cool! Scuba diving sounds cool, but I’ve never tried it because my ears start to hurt just diving in a 10 foot pool :(. I really need to give it a try some day!

    • Vicki says:

      I’m not gonna lie – I just did a quick google of where Djibouti is (Africa for those who are interested!) but swimming with whale sharks sounds incredible!

  12. Sher says:

    Ah.. I feel the same way about diving! I love it but it terrifies me at the same time. I also learned with Simple Life on Koh Tao – I wonder if Rich is still there? He was an amazing instructor.

    What an amazing experience – love the bull shark photo you captured.

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