Scuba Diving Photos
6 Ripping Drift Dives
Gray Shark Wall
Situated in the remote Tuamotus of French Polynesia, Fakarava is a divers dream, but it’s not for the faint of heart. On the south end of the atoll, divers hit the water at the mouth of Tumakohua Pass, a narrow channel leading into the atoll lagoon. On an incoming tide, the current sucks into the channel like water down a drain, reaching speeds up to 4 knots.
“You start in the open sea and swim toward the mouth of the pass,” says Mary Anne Leou of TOPDIVE Fakarava. “This is where you find the gray-shark wall.”
The signature feature of this dive is towering a gauntlet of sharks — hundreds of grays, black tips, white tips and more — that block the entrance. Once into the pass divers sweep past the coral-draped walls packed with Napoleon wrasse before they’re ejected into the calm waters of the lagoon.
We dive for many reasons. Some to shoot photos. Some to count fish. And some of us do it for the rush. Maybe you know the type? Always down for deeper reefs, bigger sharks and faster drifts — the wilder the better. If you're anything like that, lazy drift dives just won't do. You need to feel the pull of the current as it wraps around rocks, to fly in formation alongside schooling sharks and massive manta rays, to barrel roll between coral heads like Maverick blowing the doors off Iceman. If that sounds like your scene, read on for our top picks from the world’s wildest drift dives.