Wednesday, March 02, 2011

March 2007: My first encounters with tiger sharks.

I can't believe it's only four years since I had my first encounters with the sharks I feel I have dived with all my life. I remember how totally electrified I was when I saw the first tiger shark at Tiger Beach.

Electrified and a bit apprehensive as most shark dive operators in the United States and the Bahamas would not allow freedivers to swim with
sharks. Jim Abernethy, for instance, doesn't.

When I first inquired back in 2006 whether Jim would allow me to freedive on his trips, his answer was negative, and very categorically so: He told me that as a snorkeller I would be "lunch for the tigers in no time"... Jim suggested that I should get certified - well, you all know how I feel about SCUBA diving. Thus, I had to say
thank you but no thank you.

Scott Smith of the Dolphin Dream was, and still is
, more generous with me: I am the only client of his who has his explicit permission to freedive with the tigers and lemons of Tiger Beach.

Anyway, during my first dives with the tigers I had a short stick with me just to have something to "protect" me. Being inexperienced with tigers, I thought about Jim's grim admonition, and did not want to take any chances.

A Wolf and a Tiger - just looking curiously at each other.
Photo: Roger Horrocks
Click to enlarge

Needless to say, I realized very soon that I really didn't need the wand you can see in this picture. A lovely, extremely well composed picture, by the way.

Just watch the reflection of the tiger at the top of the image - doesn't it look as if the shark had its mouth open, "naturally" doing what a "dangerous" shark is supposed to do - having people for "lunch in no time", especially when they are snorkelling at the surface ?...

No hard feelings, Jim!! :-)

The photograph shows a truly majestic large shark, clearly interested in getting close to me, not seeing me as potential food as most people would think but just being curious to see another creature in its blue world.


lyn nelson said...

That is a really great photo. I love the reflection.

Shark Diver said...

Nice shot sir