December 5th, 2017
"Were you in a cage?"
"Are you crazy? Weren't you scared?"
See people have this misconception that Sharks attack people as soon as they see or smell them, but ummm that's not true.
I don't know what really got me thinking that diving with sharks was a good idea but as soon as i found out about this Volunteering project based on Shark Conservation and diving - I could not stop thinking about it.
The ocean and swimming have always fascinated me. Plus the fact of the unknown beneath me intrigued me.
Going on this one month volunteering trip in Fiji, far far away from everything i knew changed me in so many ways. I stepped out of my comfort zone and became this happy person people wanted to be around. I learned how to pick up a conversation with anyone, not the regular small talk that you tend to hold with strangers but actual connection within minutes.
But thats not what this is about.
With about 20 people on this Shark Conservation Project it was "a big fucked up family", as I was told on my day of arrival. Love, Sex, Hate, Friendship, Anger, Jealousy were all a thing there. And believe me the hate was real - the more sharks you saw on one survey dive the more jealousy you would get, yet it would not stop you of telling everyone that you saw "2 Blacktips, 3 Grey Reef Sharks & 1 Bullshark" on your dive. Occasionally you would see turtles and rays as well - but they were not too exciting.
Our project consisted of 2 dive days a week, nursing mangroves and of course raising awareness in local villages and school. Once a month everyone had the chance to go on a shark dive. The usual depth of 17m would drop to drastical 35m.
I don't really know what to tell you, diving with sharks is breathtaking. Okay, terrible joke - but you get what I'm going for here.
Seeing 30 Bullsharks, 5 Lemonsharks, Grey Reefs, Blacktips, Whitetips and occassionally the one or other Tawny Nurse is incredible. Kneeling behind a little wall of dead corals we were underwater spectators. 35m below the surface and I was the calmest i have ever been.
They were fed in front of us so they would stay in place and we had something to watch. Sometimes they swam straight up to you but turned around right in front of you because you are of no interest to them.
Now some facts :
- Bullsharks are the sharks with the highest testosterone level (even higher than the Great Whites), implying they are the most aggressive. Other than the Great White they do not react to blood the same way.
-You can't dive with Great Whites while on your period - crazy.
-Sharks are vital to the eco system : They help remove the weak and the sick as well as keeping the balance with competitors helping to ensure species diversity
-100 million sharks are getting killed EACH year
-$314 million is made through ecotourism on shark dives
= Sharks are worth more alive than dead.
They are animals and just like us humans they are unpredictable. And after all we entered their territory, so they have every right to defend it.
Besides all that - Fiji is an amazing place 10/10 would go again and recommend it to anyone. The weird Kava drink they have can make you feel high or drunk. Some people take a sip of it and are gone others drink 1l and start feeling it. Just like with alcohol whaat - the only difference is that Kava is all natural and healthy.
Diving is not for everyone I get that but snorkeling does the trick & the amount of sand dollars I found on the beach probably made me the richest mermaid alive haha.
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