Tuesday I went on a crazy kick ass shark dive! We met at the dive shop at 6:30 AM. Cat (from SF) told me about the dive – I met her and 6 other divers on the dock. We piled into a small blue boat and were off to Roatan! About 1 hour and 20 minutes later we arrived at another dive shop where we geared up and were joined by one more boat of people. Our first dive was through a marine park so it was quite nice. We saw 4 turtles even one with two remora stuck on it!! I love watching turtles swim!!
Next we loaded everything into vans and drove to the other side of Roatan and got suited up for our shark dive! The dive briefing was quite funny. “While it is safe – keep your hands and arms close to your body at all times. This is especially important when we feed the sharks.” The dive is very regimented and it seems that these sharks know exactly what is going to happen. We got into the water and followed a line down about 70 feet to a sand patch. We set ourselves up into two lines – the back line standing and the front line kneeling. I was in the middle of the front line. The Caribbean reef sharks swam around us as we stared at them from our unprotected seats under the sea. When a five foot shark swims about 6 inches from your face – you feel – well – interesting. It was pretty freaking ridiculous!!! One of the more intense things I have ever done.
Then the divemaster signaled to us that we could move from our sitting and kneeling positions and swim around with the sharks. Of course I along with everyone else in my group floated up and started swimming around the reef with the sharks. It was ridiculously amazing and sketchy at the same time. I loved it. There were so many and they are soooo freaking huge. It truly is a surreal experience, because it is not often that sharks will swim so close to you – in general they are quite shy :). These particular sharks are use to divers and seem to have no problem bumping into our fins. We were then signaled to sit back down so we all swam back to the same sand patch and lined up to watch feeding time.
One of the divemasters was carrying a large white bucket of chum that the sharks were quite excited about. He attempted to open it and failed, but the sharks were so excited that they went for it anyway. They kept trying to open it themselves without any luck. Another dive master took a metal shaker to distract them and for some reason it seemed to work, and all the sharks started swimming swiftly towards him giving the shark feeder about 5 seconds to get the top off the bucket before the sharks turned back around and went CRAZY! In fact, one was so fast he got his head stuck inside the bucket and ate all the fish.
The entire dive was filmed, however we decided not to pay $50 for it. There are several videos of other people doing the dive on YouTube…I figure that they are good enough and free :)…the video below will give you an idea of how my dive went, but this group did not swim around with the sharks – that is a must do. The name of the dive is “Cara a Cara” or “Face to Face”. If you get a chance to do it – hells ya!!! It was amazing!!!!