"" Writer's Wanderings: More Sharks! And A Ray

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

More Sharks! And A Ray

Surely, I thought as we began our second day of diving, there will not be any sharks today. We rarely see one in a week of diving and we'd already had a close encounter. So when the dive master said there were three or four that hung out at this morning's first dive site I just figured he was whetting everyone's appetite for the dive ahead.

Before we could even set out to start our exploring of Pat's Wall, we had our first encounter. It was as if the shark were greeting us. It swam close by and I figured that was that. But no. The shark came back--not once but numerous times making a wide circle under the dive boat. I don't recall ever having one come that close to us. Then all of a sudden there were two.

I have to admit my heart rate was up a bit. As much as I could I told myself not to panic but as the sharks passed within 10-15 feet of us (maybe closer, I'm trying not to exaggerate), I was feeling a bit uncertain. Sharks don't normally get friendly with divers. They are usually nonchalant and eager to get out of our sight. I began to wonder if they were expecting a handout. Was someone feeding them?

We moved on to the rest of our dive but when we returned the one shark was still there and still making a wide circle beneath us as we paused for our safety stop at 20 feet. Once on board, I asked the dive master if someone had been feeding the sharks because their nearness and circling seemed to me to be the behavior of a fish that was waiting to be fed. Apparently there was some lion fishing done in the area at one time and he admitted that there may have been a couple of people who had let the shark have the lion fish. (The lion fish are an invasive species introduced into the Caribbean and efforts have been made to eliminate them by spear fishing. They have no other predator.) He assured me that the lion fishing had stopped in that area. Did anyone tell the sharks?

Our second dive was in shallower waters and had some large sandy areas. We were rewarded with the antics of a ray that had a large fish on top of it. I couldn't be sure if it was a cleaner fish or if it was getting some bits of uneaten food from the ray.

All in all it had been quite a morning. What next?

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...