Swim With The Sharks – Yes / No

Here’s a Few Places to Swim with the Sharks

After everything I learned about sharks I still changed my mind last minute,  I prefer dolphins! 

Do Your Research!

Before you just dive headfirst into the ocean, do your homework. Find out as much as you possibly can about the area in which you want to experience a shark encounter. It is of the utmost importance that you find out which species of shark inhabit your chosen area, and how they behave. Not all sharks react the same way, and having this knowledge prior to jumping in shark-infested waters is a great precaution. Furthermore, sharks oftentimes conduct themselves one way in the daytime, and another way at night. Weather, water turbulence, and the season may also have major impacts on the ways in which different species of sharks act. Therefore, it just doesn’t hurt to investigate the waters before you delve into them.Sharks are disappearing at an alarming speed.Sharks are not vicious.

There is one shark killed every three seconds in the world. “It’s one of the biggest issues in the ocean right now,” explained Petit. “Sharks are maybe the most important key species living in the oceans and making them disappear could have unknown, but very strong consequences, on a global level.” This infographic is beyond eye-opening.

 

 

Every year, Shark Week enters our lives for a fleeting seven nights of nail-biting, heart-pounding programming on the Discovery Channel. But before you even have the chance to cue up the “Jaws” theme song, the exciting event concludes, leaving us longing for more adrenaline-pumping adventures. 

Sharks are disappearing at an alarming speed.

There is one shark killed every three seconds in the world. “It’s one of the biggest issues in the ocean right now,” explained Petit. “Sharks are maybe the most important key species living in the oceans and making them disappear could have unknown, but very strong consequences, on a global level.” This infographic is beyond eye-opening.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico Near By Hotels

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Brian Lauer

Brush up on your whale-speak (à la Dory from “Finding Nemo”), slip into your scuba suit, and hop into the warm  waters to rub shoulders with the largest concentration of whale sharks in the world. Take the plunge any time between May and September, which is when the gargantuan creatures are known to congregate by the hundreds. The species might be the biggest sharks on the planet (they can grow to be 46 feet long and weigh up to 15 tons), but breathe easy — they’re vegetarian.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico Hotels

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 Sharks don’t want to eat humans.

This is probably the most important fact and I cannot emphasize it enough. Let’s take a look at why: Like I learned above, sharks are opportunistic and curious, so they are always exploring their environment, but humans are big. Only a few species [of sharks] are big enough to even consider humans potential prey. “99% of the times they meet a human, they have absolutely no interest in him,” said Petit. “There is a particular thing we’ve noticed — the bigger the shark is, the more shy it is. It is very easy to attract small reef sharks close to the boat and humans, but to attract a big shark, you have to be patient as they escape the boats and the swimmers most of the time.”

2. Gansbaai, South Africa. Near By Hotels

 

 

There are few things in life that will make you feel like as much of a badass as coming face-to-face with a great white shark. Luckily, Gansbaai, which happens to be the OG spot for great white shark cage diving, offers some of the best seats in the house for watching the predators swim through. More good news: Those who chickened out and stuck around on the boat won’t miss out on the fun — the sharp-toothed animals still circle around the area, making for some exciting point-and-scream sightings.

Gansbaai, South Africa. Near By Hotels

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It’s true — Sharks are attracted to Blood.

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But not yours! Let me say it again for the people in the back — sharks do not want to eat humans. Their intention is to prey on animals that are in their natural food chain and, of course, one of the senses they use to do this is smell. “Their senses are incredibly developed,” said Petit. But if it’s blood you are worried about, perhaps you should turn your attention to what noises you are making. “Sharks rely on their sharpened sense of hearing to detect the sounds of an injured fish from very far away.” This sound can be easily replicated by crackling a water bottle beneath the surface of the water, a tactic biologists use to study sharks in different waters and was demonstrated to me by the team. We were able to spot a lone lemon shark this way, which was incredible.

3. Beqa Lagoon, Fiji  Near By Hotels

 

One of the most impressive shark dives on the planet, this area is home to not one, but eight species. Get up close and personal with tigers, bulls, sicklefin lemons, silvertips, and more. Once you descend, you’ll have the opportunity to watch local Fijians feed the massive bull sharks by hand. It may seem intimidating at first, but the photo ops are worth it. While you’re submerged, expect to also encounter giant groupers, eagle rays, morays, and a variety of tropical reef fish.

Stay close to the action:

Pricing for Beqa Lagoon Resort

Beqa Lagoon, Fiji  Near By Hotels

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Swimming at dawn or dusk still isn’t a great idea.

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard not to swim at dawn or dusk, since that’s when sharks are feeding. Because sharks are opportunistic, you’re not necessarily going to be attacked, but you’ll be putting yourself in a questionable situation without the upper hand.

“Sharks are opportunistic so they will try to have the advantage on their prey,” explained Petit. “The lack of visibility [at those times] is a very good advantage to them as they will sense your presence a long time before you do. That said, this is a warning particularly for bull sharks, tiger and great whites. 95% of the sharks species don’t care about humans and the time of the day you swim in the ocean.”

Located about 300 miles off Costa Rica‘s Pacific coast, this uninhabited island (which also happens to be the inspiration for Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park”) is accessible by a liveaboard vessel. Above ground, it’s cloaked in verdant rainforest, cascading waterfalls, and a diverse array of plant and animal species. Underneath it all, things look a bit different. Come summer, the waters are teeming with hammerheads, whitetip sharks, and manta rays, to name a few. Here, the dives (literally) roll deep — about 100-feet, to be more specific. With strong currents, chill waters, and a remote location, it’s not built for the faint of heart (or first-time plunger).

 

Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Near By Hotels 

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Use The Buddy System

You are not the only one who believes that swimming with sharks is a fantastic idea, and if you get the courage to jump in, I wouldn’t suggest that you do it alone. You may not be fortunate enough to have plenty of adrenaline junky friends, but there are plenty of people out who share a shark passion. If you plan to experience sharks while in a cage with trained professionals, that would be awesome, it is actually what I suggest if you have never worked with sharks before. However, if you are the type of person who has no problem diving in close proximity to sharks, please don’t do it unaccompanied. It doesn’t hurt to have another set of eyes around, and in fact, if would be wise for you and your partner to come up with hand gestures in order to communicate with each other.

Swimming With Sharks

5. Guadalupe, Mexico. Near By Hotels

 

 

Swimming with the dolphins was fun and all, but you’re ready to up the ante on the adrenaline scale. For a thrilling adventure, sink into the waters surrounding this volcanic island to cruise with some great whites. Although tucked behind a cage, you’ll get within arm’s reach of the animals. And thanks to the seal population (a.k.a. shark fuel) and clear, warm waters, your chances of a sighting are high.

 

Guadalupe, Mexico. Near By Hotels

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You Are A Guest In THEIR House!

Whether you are anticipating a meeting with giant fish or not, always be on you’re best behavior upon entering the Ocean. In truth, we should all be on their best behavior whether on land or sea; but since we are less familiar with the deep blue, I will emphasize the importance of behaving underwater. Remember that there is an unbelievable amount of life in the ocean, and we should look out for them as well as the sharks. Now when it comes to the sharks themselves, be sure to conduct yourselves with the utmost amount of respect. Do not reach out to the shark; let the shark come to you. They may decide to inspect you, or they may not. No matter what, do not try corner or handle them in any way; they may become threatened by your gestures, and feel the need to protect themselves. Also, do not forget to avert your eyes. I understand that the sight of a shark is unforgettable. Nevertheless, staring is rude whether it be at people or sharks. The last thing any diver wants is to make a shark uncomfortable or defensive, therefore, be sure to keep an eye on the shark without letting them bug out of their sockets.

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6. Galapagos, Ecuador. Near By Hotels

 

 

Home to an array of wildlife like penguins, tortoises, and iguanas, nothing brings on the wow factor like face-time with a shark. Visit the remote dive sites at Darwin Island, which boasts warm waters, colorful corals, and schools of hammerheads, whale sharks, manta rays, and golden rays.

 

Galapagos, Ecuador. Near By Hotels

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Don’t Feed The Sharks

If you happened to tune into “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel, you may have seen a few professional divers and scientists feed fish to the sharks they encountered. However I place emphasis on the world “professional.” If you do not deal with sharks professionally, do not try to stick a fish in a shark’s mouth. While it may make sense to give food to the shark in order for them to realize that you mean them no harm, this may very likely cause other sharks to come to the vicinity. Remember that sharks have an outstanding sense of smell, and if the scent of your bait catches their noses, they will come. Swimming with sharks may be awesome, but accidentally luring many food-expecting sharks is a whole different story.

7. Tiger Beach, Bahamas. Near By Hotels

 

 

Eat up the chance to experience a heart-racing shark dive. Folks will take a high-speed boat from Grand Bahama Island to the open seas, where guides use bait to lure all kinds of toothy predators — tiger sharks, hammerheads, Caribbean reef sharks, and lemon sharks, to name a few — while swimmers float on the top to take in the thrilling views.

Tiger Beach, Bahamas. Near By Hotels

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Don’t turn your back to the shark

“One of the things that a lot of people don’t realize is that in the vast majority of shark attacks, [the victim] didn’t know the attack was going to occur,” explained Dr. Kim Holland, lead researcher with the HIMB Shark Research Group.”Being aware that the shark is there and staying away from it, that can do a lot.”

8. Bora Bora, French Polynesia  Near By Hotels

 

 

Bora Bora might be a sought-after honeymoon destination for its pristine beaches and luxe overwater bungalows, but it also boasts some of the most impressive (and popular) shark feeding trips. Step out of your comfort zone and head out for an excursion in a crystal clear lagoon, where you’ll witness guides feed blacktip sharks. Daredevils will even have the opportunity to buoy over a different area to catch lemon sharks below.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia  Near By Hotels

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Don’t force a “moment”

 The growing number of videos featuring shark and human interactions can give the average swimmer the false impression that sharks can be easily approached.

But even the most experienced divers consider the huge risk factor when approaching a shark and only do so after making an educated assessment. In the short film “Variables,” Werner explained her decision to swim alongside a great white shark: “All of my years of hunting taught me how to read a fish’s body language,” she said. “The way that she was moving, the way that her fins were out, all of it showed me that she wasn’t looking at me like prey.”

 

About a one-hour flight from Tahiti, Rangiroa is home to warm turquoise waters and unforgettable shark adventures. No island runoff equals visibility that extends over 150 feet. The Tiputa Pass, which offers an opening to the ocean, is well-known as one of the world’s greatest shark dives. Here, divers will find themselves in the company of throngs of grey, blacktip, whitetip, lemon, and nurse sharks.

 

 

Rangiroa, French Polynesia. Near By Hotels

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Don’t FREAK OUT

Resisting the urge to panic can be difficult when a toothy apex predator is approaching, but it could mean the difference between life and death. “When most people see a shark, they freak,” said Jim Howe, Hawaii’s ocean safety chief of operations, but their panicked movements have been known to draw the shark even closer.

“[When a shark approaches], nine times out of ten, they’ll just kind of leave you alone,” Howe told The Huffington Post. “Many, many, many experienced divers and ocean people have had interactions where the sharks come in and take a real good look at them, and just swim away.”

 

10. Osprey Reef, Australia  Near By Hotels

 

 

Brace yourself for majestic creatures like gray reef sharks, silvertips, hammerheads, dogtooth tuna, and even whale sharks at Osprey Reef, which lies northeast of Queensland. You’ll have to take a liveaboard vessel to get here, but the tropical climate (an average of about 70 degrees in the winter and 85 degrees in the summer) makes it a year-round diving destination. Don’t miss the shark feeding frenzy that goes down at North Horn, located at the northernmost tip of the reef.

 

Osprey Reef, Australia  Near By Hotels

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