I am always up for trying new diving adventures and as I am now based in the Bahamas shark diving seemed like the most logical step.
I organised a dive with Stuart Cove. Stuart Cove is a very famous dive shop on New Providence Island. They have a fleet of boats and hundreds of divers pass through them every day. Booking the dive was easy, all it took was an email and I was set to go. The check-in procedure was easy, and as I had arrived early it was unrushed.
The only kit I required was a full wet suit, which they charge $10 for rental. They even have DIN cylinders so I could use my own regs. I quickly stowed my kit on the boat and then waited for departure. We left fairly promptly and went to the dive site, which was less than 10 minutes by boat. In fact you could see the dive shop from the dive site.
We did two dives. The first was a swim around and the second was the shark feed. It was cool swimming with the sharks. They are fantastic animals, and at times surprisingly cute.
The second dive was the main event. We were given a detailed briefing. The usual logical things were stated:
- No rapid movements
- Don’t swim over the feeding area
- You will be hit by the sharks
- If a shark knocks your reg out, relax pick up your alternate and breathe from that – don’t do the standard regulator recovery
- Don’t stick your arms out
- Don’t take your fins off in the water and leave your feet dangling. Take your fin off and put your foot straight onto the ladder
There were many other rules but I forget them now.
The dive was amazing. We sat in a circle and waited for the shark feeder to descend with the bait. The bait is stored in a “shark proof” box, and then fed to the sharks with a spear. The sharks didn’t really go crazy but the became very interested in the box as soon as it was in the water.
It was an amazing dive. At times it seemed that the sharks were about to go for you but they just swam past without paying you any heed.
I wouldn’t recommend this dive for a beginner diver, I think that you need to be able to control the panic otherwise you could have a nasty accident if you can’t handle it and decide to swim away at the wrong moment.
Here are some highlights from my dive.