Sunday, December 31, 2006

There are no sharks here...

Since the blog is about freediving, sharks, etc., I best post something relevant. One of my favorite stories comes to mind.

In March 2005, my dad and I were in the Galapagos - it was my last day there before I was heading back. Unfortunately it was raining, seas were rough, and the visibility miserable. So the boat dropped my dad and I off in a bay - where according to the captain a snorkeler had been bitten (nothing serious) by a Galapagos shark. The area is filled baby seals, nursery. But according to my dad - there are no sharks here...get a clue.

So as we are diving we decide to separate - I stay close to the rocks patrolled by the seals - the bull seemed nice enough to let me be. As I am fiddling with the video camera out of the corner of my eye I see a huge shadow glide along the white sandy floor. It is by far the largest shark that I have seen while diving, almost four meters long - as big as Galapagos sharks get.

She swims by me and vanishes back into the murk - I start calling my old man, he comes, but she is nowhere in sight. So my dad decides to explore the area in which the shark disappeared. As my luck would have it, she came back - this time closer and kept approaching - I should have been filming all this right? So I start swimming towards the rocks while looking at her. All of a sudden I bumped the seal bull - great - mauled by a seal and finished by a shark.

The seal did not mind - but he did mind the shark. Like a missile he zoomed in on the shark chasing it off. I had enough excitement for one day - as my dad came back he could not believe his eyes: me sitting on the rocks next to an iguana and baby seal - waiting for the boat to come back.

Not sure if my dad believed me or not - at least about the size and since I had not filmed it there was no proof - but alas, my dad returned to the same spot two days later and found her, the picture is there to prove it...

"There are no sharks here" - whenever I hear that coming from my dad now - I expect an adventure.

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