You may have tried sky diving, hot air ballooning, race car driving, or white water rafting, but none of those will get your heart thumping quite like what you can do on your next Caribbean holiday.
Let us tell you about an exciting adventure that will be the highlight of your Caribbean vacation – a guided shark dive.
You will need to be a certified SCUBA diver in order to participate, but most warm water resorts, and many cruise ships offer certification courses that will have you trained and ready for action within a few days.
Our personal favorite shark dive location is an easy plane ride from the US in the Bahama Islands. The island of New Providence has the town of Nassau where 80% of Bahamians live. At the opposite end of the island from Nassau you will find Stuart’s Cove, -one of the very best dive operators. Interestingly, Stuart’s dive center is located in the old film set from the 1996 movie “Flipper.”
There are many dive resorts that offer shark dives in the Bahamas, and we have found that all of the larger operators do a good job.
Next to the stingrays in the Cayman Islands, the Caribbean reef sharks are probably the closest thing to a trained fish that you will find anywhere on the planet. They are fed regularly by the shark dive tour operators and know exactly when to congregate for feedings.
During a shark feeding, all divers are required to sit on the bottom in a circle with their arms folded. The dive master, who is wearing a chain link suit sits in the middle of the circle and dispenses large pieces of fish to the swarming sharks from a bucket via a metal pole. The process is often quite orderly with each shark waiting its turn for a quick gobble.
Shark feedings are interesting, but we have the most fun when we are cruising along side the sharks as they start to gather at feeding time. Their luminescent lime green eyes follow you as they swim past. They are as curious about humans as we are about them.
Fear dissipates quickly as you swim among them, and learn to appreciate their rhythm and beauty.
Sharks are graceful creatures with a royal bearing befitting the name “Monarchs of the sea.”
Of course, not all sharks are created equal, but the Caribbean reef shark in particular is quite docile. The proof is that the dive tour operators have been providing excitement to willing divers for years. As far as we know, there have not been any tragic consequences.