Bora Bora Shark and Sting Ray Excursion

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Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt….. Did your mind quickly conjure up the movie Jaws? Jaws was a thriller, blockbuster film released in 1975, by director Steven Spielberg, with the unforgettable theme music to portray the shark attack. Were you, like me, afraid to enter water ever again?

Nevermind, thinking of swimming, especially thinking about swimming in deep ocean water. Since the film’s release and its later sequels, I wonder how many of us developed this fear of being eaten alive.

For me, I was fine with going in the ocean or other waters as long as I could see my feet and touch the bottom. Dark, deep waters were out for me, especially after I was subjected to swimming in lake water where I could not see but only feel the things that rubbed up against me. I still shudder.


However, on my most recent trip to French Polynesia and her island of Bora Bora, I participated in an excursion, which became one of the best moments and activities of my entire visit. We did the Swim with the Sharks and Sting Rays excursion.

I was so excited! My mind was like, “cool,” we will be in a contained area of shallow water with sharks and stingrays. Wrong!

The Shark and Sting Ray excursion in Bora Bora is roughly a 3-hour small-group excursion.

They take you out by boat. And when I say out, I mean out to the wide, open, deep, blue sea. Clear as a bell, but don’t even think about touching here. When the boat dropped anchor and realized we were getting out into the open waters, my heart started pounding. Snorkel gear was handed out, and we were told that if we didn’t want to get in, we could stay in the confines of the boat, where I could watch the feeding of the sharks while the others snorkeled with them. Well, as they say, “When in Rome..” So, I gathered up all my nerve, put on my gear, scooted my rear to the edge of the boat, and jumped in! Oh my gosh, it was so amazing to put my face in the water and see the tropical fish and shark swimming around me as the driver of the boat sprinkled food across the top of the water. These were blacktip sharks, not known for desiring humans, and certainly not nearly as frightening as the Great White portrayed in Jaws. We also saw a few nurse sharks a bit deeper in the water.

Once back on board the boat, I was so exhilarated. I was just beaming, for not only the experience, but the fact that I had conquered my fear. I was so excited to head to our next spot to see the sting ray. The sting rays were awesome! When the boat anchored here, all we needed was a pair of reef (water) shoes. The water was only about waist deep. Once we were all in the water, the guide got in with a bucket of food. The sting rays along with a few more blacktip sharks immediately surrounded us. They were like puppy dogs or cats, but much more slimy feeling, rubbing up against us. So playful! We had fun stealing kisses and petting them. I hated to leave and move onto our third stop.

The last stop of the excursion took us to the Coral Garden.

We once again donned our snorkel gear and hopped overboard for a swim amongst the rainbow colored coral and tropical fish. The fish loved to get really close whenever you stayed still, even bumping into your face mask. We all tried very hard to capture a picture of ourselves underwater with the “I Love Bora Bora” written in the depths below us. The morning couldn’t have been any better. It was truly an event I will never forget and certainly will repeat on future trips to Bora Bora.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslBora Bora Shark and Sting Ray Excursion

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