Dancing with the sharks
When Shamil told us that there are baby sharks around the island, I thought that he’s joking… He said that they are not dangerous – they are just looking for food…OK – maybe it wouldn’t be good for the business to scare the tourists, so I didn’t dare to go close to any of the baby sharks, not after seeing Jaws anyway…
Ignorance is bliss – who said this knew what he’s talking about… so after some days I believed all the “just don’t touch anything”, “no peak and poke” and “marine creatures attack just to defense themselves” theory written in the 262 pages of Open Water Diver Manual. Since the internet speed was quite low and I was in vacation –already reading and doing homework for the course –I didn’t need any extra research on the subject. Bottom-line being that nothing can hurt you there. In addition, the over 1m long shark sleeping under a pear and appearing from time to time in quite shallow waters, inspired trust, somehow.
Getting over the fear and technical issues, you start to feel like in an aquarium in the home reef. The mask makes everything looking like in a movie. Thousands of small and big fishes are fling under and over you and if the visibility is good they look like birds flying in a cloudy day. And all of them are looking inoffensive. Even the lionfish which was very close to my leg and which by a miracle I didn’t hit by mistake. The scorpionfish didn’t look to friendly, so if you don’t walk over it, since it looks like a rock – you should be ok. Octopus on the other hand was amazing. It was looking like a black phantom when swimming; changing its colors to the ones of the environment as soon as it stops. Now I read that all of them can kill you – or at least poison you. The snake fish as well. But ignorance is bliss – so they were all wonderful.
The guitarfish on the other hand was not so wonderful anymore. It was over 1,5m lying on the sand and not paying any attention to us. We stopped; look at it, facing it, no sudden moves and wait. He wait too and in the end moved 3m further in other direction. So what’s the danger?
The big encounter was with the grey shark in open waters. No so close to the reef anymore, no bottom see, no corals, just one diver making some noise to tell us that is there. We were 8 divers all together, he was one. Swimming gracious, not paying us any attention, maybe 3 meters away, one glance and he was gone. Nobody took any picture and thanks God for that because I’ve just read that he hates paparazzi. He was the top of the food chain but we were not on his menu list. Not that day. Maybe next time.
A lot of words, no pictures – our camera could stand only 10m deep and we were up to 23. But this guy has got most of everything – check it out!