This is a story I’ve been wanting to write for a long time, being that it’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel I thought we’d give it a go. It’s about diving with sharks in the Exuma Islands of the Bahamas, only thing is, I’m not scuba certified. I know right, what type of Caribbean blogger doesn’t know how to dive. It’s a crime no doubt. So if any dive shops would like to sponsor my certification I’d be happy to promote the experience!
Back to the sharks!
The reason I haven’t wrote about Danger Reef and swimming with the sharks before is because the photos I took were complete garbage. My heart was pounding, hand probably sharking and the seas were rough–this all translates to horrible photos. Good thing members of our media group were able to get some good shots that you’ll see below.
Getting To Danger Reef
We traveled up the island chain from Great Exuma to Staniel Cay with Four C’s Adventures. Captain Pat took us to hidden caves, showed us Starfish City and we caught our own conch for Conch Salad. We stayed the night at Staniel Cay Yacht Club and the next day we had a date with the sharks of Danger Reef.
In the morning we met ex-pat Jake and his girlfriend who run Staniel Cay Divers. We loaded up on their dive boat and head north into the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, next stop Danger Reef.
The sky was cloudy and the swell was 5 to 6 feet as we hooked onto the reef’s mooring ball. We could already see shadowy figures circling the boat. Everyone in our group climbed into their dive gear except for me. I was the only one in the group that was not dive certified. Jake told me that I could climb in and snorkel at the top while everyone else descends to about 50 feet. Said he would keep an eye on me from below. Hmmmm.
So let me get this straight, I’ll be alone at the surface, while everyone else is 50 feet below me…okay, cool let’s do this thing. I was trying to play the cool and collected masculine male, but honestly I was a little uneasy.
I had never swam with sharks before but do know a decent amount about them (Thank you Discovery Channel!). I knew I wasn’t in any real danger, but that didn’t stop my heart from beating like a drum. In the water we go.
I watched as everyone descended below me, columns of bubbles rising to the surface, while I floated on the surface like a bobber. A bobber being tossed around by large waves. The Grey Reef Sharks where all around. They were passing below me, next to me and coming up from behind me. I know these animals can sense fear and I felt mine rising. I felt like a piece of bait floating at the surface of rough seas all by myself. As few sharks came to within a couple feet I decided the boat would probably be a better place. My shark swim lasted all of about 5 or 6 minutes as I felt just a little uneasy about the situation. I would have been fine if I were with the group, but the being alone part freaked this pirate out just a little. It was just me and the circling sharks at the surface, so back on the boat I went!
Travel writer Kristin Luna, who runs the Camels & Chocolate: Travel Blog, was one of the writers in our group and she did a great job taking photos and this great video. These were the sharks that were swimming around us on Danger Reef in the Bahamas.
I waited 45 minutes with the boat driver making small talk as we waited for the group to resurface. I kept kicking myself for not being down their with the rest of the group. Danger Reef got the best of me this day but that will not happen again. Next time I will be diving down to the sea floor with the Goliath Grouper, amazing coral formations, and smiling at the sharks.
Have you ever swam with sharks? Leave a comment below and tell us about your experience.
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