Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Diving with the Sharks

Becky just told me about the diver who died this week after being bitten by a shark while diving in the Bahamas. After uttering a Holy Shit! I jumped online real quick to make sure it wasn't the Company we had gone with. It wasn't. But the dive described in this article sounds exactly like the one we were on. I will tell you that there were a few people (seasoned divers) on our boat who did not participate in the shark dive with us. Not out of fear, but because they didn't agree with the principals of the dive. Their disagreement stood with the thought that by feeding sharks in the wild you are teaching them to associate humans with food. I understand this thinking and actually agree with it, but I still went on the dive because, you know, I just had to see it.

On our dive we were prepped thoroughly before hand on what to do and what NOT to do. Which included:
  • Enter water in very orderly fashion. On most dives people get into the water on their own time, I'm usually one of the last because I'm always misplacing something. Where the fuck did my right glove go?? On this dive we all had to be ready at the same time and entered one right after another all military parachute like.
  • Once in the water follow the rope down to the mooring. Do this ORDERLY. The sharks know this routine, do not fuck this up people!
  • When at the bottom form a horseshoe around the drop zone. At our location there was a large rock formation with lots of fingers, do not sit in front of the fingers -the sharks like to swim through these.
  • Kneel on the ocean floor and make sure all attachments, like your second stage, are close to your body.
  • Stay as still as possible and Don't Breathe! Just can breathe. Don't breathe hard though! Kidding, kidding, I'm sorry, this is not funny.

Once in place they bring the dinghys over, which carry the chum. As soon as the dinghys start up the sharks know and they start moving faster, circling, just waiting for the drop. Once the chum is dropped the feeding only lasts a minute or so. What I remember most was the sound of them tearing into the chum. That's when I stopped breathing - just to take it all in.

I found a couple of videos of shark dives on the website of the Company we went with. If you want to check them out you can find them here and here (click on Shark Feed). These videos are pretty short and I am NOT digging the corny ass music they included, but they'll give you an idea of what it is like.


Em said...

Eek! That is scary. Because these shark dives seem so common place, so popular, these days, it's easy to forget how dangerous these creatures are. I'm glad the company you went with took so many precautions and had strict rules for you to follow, etc., but eek...I'm starting to think I'd still be way too much of a wimp to try it! :)

Aubrey said...

I already knew I'd be too much of a wimp to try it. I'm not a big fan of throwing myself into danger. Maybe 8-10 yrs ago, but I'm content to look at others pictures of this or watch discovery/animal planet. I'm glad nothing happened. And really, the odds are probably in favor of it not happening, but when it does, it really scares the crap out of you doesn't it.