Shark Dive and Snorkel!
We are back from the Rock Boat, and it was quite a special one. Not only did we have great music (I'll save that for my next post), we swam with sharks!
When we stopped in Nassau, Bahamas, several us booked private excursions with Stuart Cove. Half of our group did the Shark Snorkel and half did the Shark Dive.
This is a picture of Bryan during the dive, and those are the Carribbean Reef Sharks right next to him. The photo was taken by Rick Cloues.
During the snorkel adventure, the staff of Stuart Cove took us to a dive spot near a wreck. Once there, they instructed us to get into the water one-by-one and hold onto a rope tied onto the end of the boat. I was the first one in line (how that happened, I don't know). Just as I was about to get in the water, one the sharks surfaced within two feet of the ladder I was about to climb down. "Are you sure I should get in now?" I asked the guide. He affirmed, so I stepped into the water and pretended to be brave and unaffected. Then the guide instructed me to slide out to the end of the rope in the water. We were also instructed not to splash about or kick. At the end of rope, I tried very hard not to shiver but the fear and adrenaline was hard to overcome. My buddy Andrew was next in the water with me. As we waited for the others to get in, we put our faces into the water and watched the sharks, who expected to be fed, begin to muster near our boat. I first saw three, then ten, and then I stopped counting. When one came from behind us and about five feet under our noses, both Andrew and I popped our heads up out of the water and with our eyes wide said, "They're getting close!"
We spent about 15 to 20 minutes watching the sharks gathering about us. Then we were instructed to get back on the boat. Once we were all safely aboard, the Stuart Cove staff threw some fish food (which was actually dog food) into the water. The Yellowtail Snappers scurried to the fish food in droves, which made for an easier target for the sharks. So, at the end of our snorkel excursion, we got to watch sharks, with their fins slicing through the water surface, feeding on yellowtail snapper.
The sharks we saw during the snorkel trip were actually coming from the feeding they just got during the dive that Bryan and Rick and the rest of our buddies did about 300 feet away. Those guys actually got to dive 40 feet down and watch a trained person feed fish to the sharks. They told us that the sharks were close enough that their fins would sometimes hit them in the head.