Friday, July 11, 2008

Wanna go Tiger Shark Diving?

Gliding over 'her' beach....
Photograph: Wolfgang Leander

There are only two spots world-wide where you can still dive with tiger sharks on a regular basis: South Africa (Aliwal Shoal) and the Bahamas (Tiger Beach).

Since tiger sharks a
re by far my preferred sharks, these are the places you will find me diving - nowhere else. And I say this after having dived in many places (Mediterranean, Atlantic, Pacific, Red Sea, Indian Ocean) since I first immersed myself into the crystalline waters of the Cote d'Azur 53 years ago.

When I want to swim with the Bahamian striped babes, my choice is Captain Scott Smith of the Dolphin Dream Team.

Captain Scott Smith with his two girls: wife Robin and daughter Holly

Scottie is a dolphin man through and through, and he connects with these most lovable and intelligent marine mammals the way I do with tiger sharks - our deep love for "our" animals is, thus, our common passion.

Although Scottie was the one who discovered Tiger Beach back in 1994 by sheer chance when he was chumming the water just for fun while anchored at night in that shallow place, it was not until a few years ago that this confirmed dolphin friend decided to cater to tiger shark divers as well.

I am so glad he did!!

What I like about Scottie is that he lets me free-dive
on his tiger shark trips. To me THAT is absolutely crucial as I believe that the best way to interact with sharks is while free-diving. I know it's not everybody's cup of tea as it requires some relevant experience.

Da Wolf playing with a Lemon Shark at Tiger Beach

Photograph: Paul Spielvogel

Other regular clients of the Dolphin Dream Team love the relaxed and friendly atmosphere on Scottie's spacious boat - and the terrific food Gail, his cook, serves the guests! Hey, when you dive hard, and spend almost a whole week 'out there', you want to be pampered as if your were a demanding gourmet, won't you?

I don't eat much as I normally spend between seven and nine hours NON-STOP in the water when I am a Tiger Beach bum.... but that's just me. Remember what I said some time ago? I can't get enough of tigers - so I'd rather starve, and be with my mascots as much as I can!!

I will be back on Scottie's Dolphin Dream II in November 08 - with lots of cool people from all over. One of them will be Felix, my only and one of a kind "baby"... :-) :-)

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