Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some things get better as they age....

..... cognac, pu-ehr tea, certain cheeses, wines, rare books, very few men (Sean Connery) - and in my case: diving.

I have been free-diving for more than 53 years, and I can tell you that it is getting better and better, very unfortunately unlike other passions... :-).

People often ask me what it is that keeps me in the water while I am aging myself like an old piece of Roquefort.

Simple: Sharks.

And of all the sharks I have dived with, it is Galeocerdo Cuvier, the tiger shark that I have become addicted to, in a very literal sense of the word.

Tiger sharks rule!!

I cannot do without them anymore, and as far as I am concerned, there is no cure against this disease - thank God!

Even if there were an anti-shark remedy, to feel healthy I would have to keep this disease from 'healing'.

The clarity of the Bahamian Sea at Tiger Beach is just stunning.
(Photo: Wolfgang Leander, 2008)
Click on image to enlarge

So, that is the reason I will dive only in two places in the future: Tiger Beach and Aliwal Shoal - both destinations are famous for their tiger sharks.

No more coral reefs, no more Galapagos, no more Red Sea, or other exotic dive spots - just Tiger Beach and Aliwal Shoal. And perhaps the most southern tip of South Africa for Great Whites - THAT I owe to myself... :-)

I know that for me shark diving can only get better in these two places...

Diver and Tiger in Aliwal Shoal - darker waters full of mystery....
(Photo: Felix Leander, 2008)
Click on image to enlarge

PS: Much to my chagrin, both in the Bahamas and in South Africa tiger sharks are not fully protected. Tiger sharks are being fished in the Bahamas by so-called 'sport' anglers, and in South Africa, the tigers are not safe from humans either.

During the last couple of months many
tiger sharks were killed entangled in the infamous shark nets along the coast south of Durban that have no
raison d'etre whatsoever other than killing inoffensive sharks.

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