Bahamas. Into the deep blue with sharks

Extraordinary, exhilarating, exciting, thrilling, amazing. I stare once again at Dejan photos during his last holiday at the Bahamas islands and feel dazed. First a period on Bahamas islands and then a whole week on a shark research vessel spent with Scotty, the captain, and few other divers. Nothing more.

When Dejan told me about his travel, I thought it was the classic adventure that make you face your limits, the one you challenge yourself and the environment around you. Next I understood there was something more.

Dejan is a guy who knows sea well. Skilled scuba-diver, he has been “walking along” Asia, Africa and America seafloors. A big love for sea and I can feel it looking at his photos.

He went to Bahamas Islands last November, he flew from London to Nassau and then reached Grand Bahamas. Wonderful, nearly desert shores.

And then them, sharks. “We left the coast for the open ocean. We reached the realm of Tiger sharks, but there were Lemon too and White tips, Reef sharks, Nurse ones. With them you can meet groupers, greater amberjacks, triggerfish, tunas. During  a single diving it may happen you meet 40, 50, even 100 sharks. Bahamas are National Protected Area for sharks. You are not allowed to fish or kill them that’s why there is plenty of them. 3/5 hours under water every day. Tiger beach area is a quite shallow dive so air consumption is low which means you can easy spend well over an hour on single dive, go up, refill in few minutes and back down without decompression time. Sharks are impressively intelligent, survived to hundreds of millions years of evolution. They were on this planet before us. I feel …privileged hanging around with them”.

I stand listening to him and I feel a bit stupid to ask him: “Aren’t you scared, are you?”

“Sure I am. But I know I have to follow some clear rules and to respect the seascape in which these prehistoric creatures live. There’s a dress-code too”.

“What do you mean?”

“Total black is compulsory. Only black dresses and you have to cover hands and head too because sharks can see you as dead fish, as food and mistake you with a delicacy!”.

Dejan tells me sharks can “read” your fear, just like a kind of electric wave. You learn to know them, step by step, to foresee how they move, tracks they outline. As a dance.

“With Tiger sharks you need to pay full attention and focus on them, because they will circle around you and test you, try to provoke you and see the reaction. They move in the current attracted by the smell of the bait, so, if you know the current, you can know from which direction they will be coming and face them. Otherwise they may come behind your back which I wouldn’t recommend because they like to investigate…”

“Did you do night diving too?”

“Yes. We did…really exciting. Down there is pitch black and you can’t see when shark is coming until, literally, it enters your torch light vision. It’s also difficult to predict from which side it will come, so you need to pay extra attention to feel the current move or change”.

Maybe Dejan notices fear growing on my face because he says: “Anytime you dive down, sea makes you discover something new. You need only to observe, to keep in touch with what is around you and respect it. A different sound we are no more used to listen to…Once you release fear…there is only love. And a big peace”.

 

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