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Hammerheads for my 50th Birthday


Maui SCUBA Instructor Susan Sullivan wanted to do something special to help her celebrate a milestone birthday. She and some of her friends did just that. Here’s her first-hand account: 

I wanted Mama Sue’s (that’s me!) 50th birthday to be a memorable one. SHARKS! That was my first thought, which if you knew me would not surprise you in the least. I tend to follow them whenever I encoounter them, often to the dismay of the dive leader that I am “supposed” to be following. Watching their graceful and almost haunting movements, while they allow me to share their underwater world, is incredible.

This particular “birthday” memory would come about as I dove with some awesome creatures (12 of my friends) and the Hammerhead sharks that hang out around Elephant Rock by Molokai, Hawaii.

First, I needed a boat…so I set up a special charter with Charley Neal, the owner of SCUBA SHACK, here on Maui. Charley’s boat is called the DOUBLE SCOOP: we all know that two scoops are better than one. And she definitely fits her name. She flew across the water at 45 miles an hour, literally through wind, rain, and 10 ft. swells. Luckily she had plenty of room for us to be able to dodge the flying debris of those that didn’t feel so well. Thank you, Bonnie, for keeping my debris in my tummy where it belonged.
Hammerhead Shark in Maui, Hawaii
The dive was so exciting. We were mesmerized as the first group of three swam in circles calmly below us. As I glanced up I realized one of those often feared, magnificent creatures was swimming directly towards me, eye level, closing in at a distance of about 20 feet away and, yet, I felt no fear. I knew he wasn’t there to hurt me, he was just as curious about me as I was of him. About five feet away he dove and joined the others. I went in search of more.

The largest group we saw that day consisted of well over 28 Hammerheads (my friend stopped counting at that point). I would like to thank Jim (our dive leader), Charley (our Capt), Valerie (one of Charley’s other Capt) and my friends for sharing in this awesome experience with me.

SCUBA SHACK provided me with an experience I will never forget! — Susan Sullivan, Maui, Hawaii

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