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Ocean Ramsey shark diving

Ocean Ramsey almost leapt off the boat on onto a tiger shark named Nikki. Photo: Screenshot/Instagram


The Inertia

Ocean Ramsey is very comfortable around sharks. Years ago, while on a winter “work” trip on the North Shore, I was lucky enough to head out of Haleiwa Harbour aboard a boat with Juan Oliphant and Ocean Ramsey. The purpose was to go diving with sharks. I thought that maybe we’d see a few from far away, have a little nervous laugh about it afterwards, and then go about our lives embellishing the story about the time we dove with sharks. But I was very wrong. Happily very wrong. You can read about that whole adventure here, if you’re into it, but it gave me a whole new outlook on sharks and a hell of an admiration for what Ocean and Juan do.

It wasn’t my first time attempting to dive with sharks, but it was a very different experience than the first time, when I simply stood in a cage, shivering for eight hours in the waters off San Francisco.

Ocean Ramsey, as I mentioned, is very comfortable around sharks. She knows their moods, knows when to get out of the water and when to get in. She knows how to act around them, knows how to remain calm when she needs to and, strangely, has this ability to make the people diving with her feel calm around them as well.

Ocean and Juan spend so much time with sharks around their Hawaii home that they’ve got names for them. The one in the video above is named Queen Nikki, and it looks like she might know who Ocean is, too.

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As Ocean was just about to jump into the water recently, she took a quick look under the surface. Nikki was on her way up to check things out, and it’s lucky Ocean had that quick look, because if she hadn’t, she would have landed directly on top of the shark.

“We love Tiger shark Queen Nikki’s enthusiasm to greet Ocean Ramsey,” Oliphant wrote on Instagram. “Ocean reading an approach quickly and accurately knowing when to respectfully back up.”

While most people would be left a little shaken, Ocean simply laughs. She knows that Nikki wasn’t attacking — she was just doing shark things.


Learn more about sharks in Ocean Ramsey’s Guide to Sharks and Safety.

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