It’s here! It’s finally here! One of my favorite weeks of the year is upon us!
Every year for one week, the Discovery Channel dedicates a week of programming to sharks–shark facts, shark stories, shark attack survivors–I can’t get enough of it. If you’ve read Pictures and Plane Tickets for a while then it’s no surprise that these creatures fascinate me. A combination of strength, power, and terrifying danger, I can’t help but feel captivated by the ocean’s most dangerous predator, and for this one week you won’t find my TV on any other channel.
In honor of Shark Week, I wanted to reblog a post I wrote back in 2012 when I snorkeled with Sharks off of Nassau, Bahamas. Enjoy!
As promised, I am writing about our thrilling yet dangerous adventure that we went on last week while visiting the Bahamas. While researching excursions for our visit to Nassau, I came across a company called Stuart Cove’s. They advertise “The World’s most exciting underwater adventure!” and of course I was intrigued. Stuart Cove’s is a full service dive resort and they also offer snorkeling tours to those not yet scuba certified. When I saw that I had an opportunity to swim with sharks in the open ocean I was very excited to say the least. How often are you in the Bahamas, and how often do you get to swim with sharks?
Our captains, CleeJay and Obie drove the boat, called the Zambizi, to two different snorkel sites where we were allowed to snorkel with many beautiful tropical fish. There were so many at the second spot that I was literally swimming in a school of fish. Simply amazing.
The last stop was at the Atlantic Tunnel Wall off of the southwestern side of New Providence Island. They anchored the boat and told us that the bow of the boat was at a depth of 45 feet and just off the stern the ocean floor drops down to 6,000 feet. My first thought was, ‘Don’t the bigger sharks usually swim at a deeper depth? And now these big guys are being enticed to come up and check out the lunch buffet?’ Cleejay then reminded us about the dangers of swimming with these wild animals and provided information on what not to do once we were in the water. When the time came to put on our fins and snorkel gear I was nervous. My heart was pounding, my stomach was in a knot, and it was a little hard to breathe, yet I could barely contain my excitement to get in and see the sharks below.
After easing into the water, I looked down and saw three sharks close to the bait box. During the ten minutes (which felt more like an hour) that we were allowed in the water, more sharks appeared from the depths below. A few of the majestic yet frightening creatures were interested in the snorkelers above and came up to explore what we were doing in the water. It was a terrifying experience to have these sharks and all of their razor-sharp teeth so close, but it was also very exciting as well.
The sharks looked big when I was swimming next to them in the water, however, once we were safely standing above them on the boat I could really see their massive size and their graceful nature in the water. Now that the experience is over I have to say that it was even better than I imagined, however with that being said, I have thought to myself a few times since the snorkel, “what the hell was I thinking?” 🙂 It was dangerous, very risky, and slightly suicidal, but what an experience it was! Up next, I want to swim with the big sharks off the northern tip of Oahu (this time shark cages are provided).
Do you share the same fascination about sharks as I do?