A Different Kind Of Scary Trip For This Halloween Season
Only your own breathing into the scuba gear and the release of air bubbles as they surge to the surface may be heard 60 feet below the ocean's surface. As you watch fish gently swim by, you can feel your heart slowly beating. You have relaxed and are taking in the weight of the water above and around you as well as the steady current that is flowing deeply below the surface. Then, a gigantic shadow that is moving quickly through the darkness is caught in your peripheral vision. There is undoubtedly a massive object around you and the other divers despite the challenging lighting down here. When you see it again, it has multiplied into two and then three other shapes. The calming fish have made a fast exit, leaving only you, the other divers, and the ominous shadows that are drawing nearer.
The forms manifest. Your heartbeat, which was previously peaceful, is now racing in your ears as five blacktip reef sharks carefully weave their way among your group of divers. They look interested in these guests to their home and move with a fluidity that lets you know they are at ease around you and the other people. You are shark diving, a pastime that is increasingly gaining popularity among people who are not only thrill seekers. In actuality, shark diving is now a very successful industry all over the world. For instance, travelers seeking to view sharks up close bring in around $30 million annually to South Africa, a popular destination for shark diving. The many ways you might dive with sharks, the types of sharks you can encounter, and the risks associated with doing so are all covered in the pages that follow. Continue reading to learn about the most common method of diving with sharks: cage diving.
Cage diving is the most popular technique for shark diving. Divers can interact closely with sharks while using this method, which is by far the safest. About four divers can fit in the cage, which is tethered to a boat and is normally rectangular in shape. Once underwater, divers may see the sharks swimming just feet away from the cage with little to no obstruction. What equipment would you require to cage dive with sharks? One is a firm grasp on your dread. After that, all you need is the fundamental gear, such as a wetsuit, a snorkel, a weight belt to keep you submerged, and scuba gear if you are a licensed scuba diver, to go snorkeling or scuba diving. The boat may have its own "hookah style" air system that feeds air directly to you through a long hose from an air compressor aboard the boat in place of snorkeling equipment.
With this technique, you can still be completely submerged to obtain the finest view without a tank in the water. The majority, if not all, of the equipment you will need should be available from the business that charters the trip. Later on, you'll discover more about the various businesses and prices. You are now submerged in the cage. How do you predict the presence of sharks? Once more, when you approach your anchor location, the shark diving business will have you covered by trailing chum from the boat. Chum is a concoction of parts, oils, and blood from fish. All discerning sharks in the region can smell the mouthwatering aroma of the bloody soup it produces.
Sharks will follow the chum trail to the boat because to their exceptionally acute sense of smell. They will discover bait there that will keep them interested long enough for you to enjoy them. Since feeding sharks is prohibited in most countries, frozen fish enclosed in a box that is hung off the rear of the boat is usually used as bait. Sharks love the perfume that this box emits, but it prevents them from actually eating the fish. The diver is free to see the sharks circle the boat after they have arrived while remaining safe inside the cage. A typical dive lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, giving the diver enough of time to capture images and awe at the powerful creatures. If you consider a cage to be too much of a barrier between you and the sharks, continue reading for a shark-viewing method called free diving.
Going all out and literally swimming with sharks in their natural environment is the most extreme type of diving with sharks. You and the sharks alone in the open ocean, with no cages or safety link to the boat. Only a few locations on Earth currently permit cage-free shark viewing, but you might find the experience to be worthwhile regardless of the distance. In contrast to cage diving, you have to go through a few processes before being cleared to swim with one of nature's most feared predators. You must must hold Advanced Open Water certification, which is a more advanced scuba diving qualification. In essence, you must demonstrate as a diver that you are capable of handling yourself in open water. In light of this, you will require all the gear that a scuba diver would need, including a wetsuit, an air regulator, and an air tank, as well as possibly a stick or other hard object to shock the animal just in case. Although open-water diving is a risk-free activity, it's crucial to always keep in mind that sharks are wild animals and occasionally unpredictable.
So how should you conduct yourself on an open-water dive? You should always keep in mind that you are a visitor at the shark's house. Therefore, rather than pursuing the shark, let it swim up to you. Stay erect and as near the bottom as you can be. Because sharks are normally less scared by taller, vertical entities than they are by long, flat ones, being low in the water signals to them that you are not a serious threat. Additionally, it's crucial to keep an eye on the other divers while yet maintaining some distance between you. Sharks appear to grow more tense around groups of divers than a few different divers. And finally, have fun! One of the most majestic animals on the earth lives in the same house as you. Sharks are naturally inquisitive and will be eager to investigate the visitors. You'll have an opportunity to view sharks in a different light because of their proximity, and you'll almost surely change your opinion on how they live as a result. Are you prepared to join them and spend time with some of these incredible creatures? Find out where to go shark diving in the next paragraphs.
Important Info About Sharks
Sharks are creatures of habit and will return year after year to the same regions, which is one of the crucial things to understand about them. As the seasons change and their food sources move, they move to these locations. To make sure that their clients are in the right places at the right times, businesses have popped up all over the world. Some of the top locations to see sharks include Australia, South Africa, and Southern California. Typically, shark diving businesses travel to the ocean waters surrounding islands from the mainland. For instance, Isla Guadalupe, which is off the coast of Baja, California, has grown to be a favorite destination for Americans looking to interact with sharks. Regarding nations outside the U.S. locations to consider include the Fiji Islands if you're traveling from Australia or Dyer Island near South Africa. All of these locations are well-known to the companies and are traditional shark "hang-outs," so divers have a decent chance of getting their money's worth.
Since diving with sharks is such a specialist industry, businesses frequently provide their clients with everything they want for a successful dive. To start, a lot of tours are all-inclusive and include meals and lodging on the boat. Additionally, as we already indicated, the firm provides all of the equipment, and before your first dive, you probably complete some introductory safety courses. The majority of businesses provide insurance that can protect against everything from a lost luggage to accidental death or dismemberment. Depending on how long you plan to dive and how far you have to drive to get there, the cost of the trip will change. Day visits will cost as little as $700, while five- to nine-day excursions can cost as much as $3,200. You've made travel arrangements, taken dive training aboard the boat, and are now prepared to enter the water. Discover what kinds of sharks you might expect to encounter when you descend into the deep by reading on.
The world's waters are home to more than 375 different species of sharks, but you'll likely only see a small portion of them when diving. Where you dive will determine how often you see sharks because certain animals, like bears or snakes, prefer certain water environments over others. The same factors that keep brown bears out of the Great Plains also determine where they are found: climate and food availability. Businesses will be able to go exactly where there are the most sharks. A great white shark may be something you want to see badly. Due to the great white's notoriety, entire businesses focus their time on taking tourists to view the great white in action. In spite of this, there are a variety of sharks that you could encounter while scuba diving, and each one is equally powerful and thrilling. Common species that might pass by include hammerhead sharks, tiger and bull sharks, and blacktip reef sharks.
Reiterating that these are all predators, regardless of species, swimming with them carries the same risks as any excursion involving wild creatures. However, most sharks are just interested in divers and won't attack them unless they feel threatened or become overly angry. Only approximately 30 of the 375 species on the planet have been known to assault humans, and only a dozen or so of those should be regarded as dangerous. Great white, tiger, and bull sharks are the species most frequently linked to unprovoked attacks. All of this raises the questions of what the actual risk of a shark attack is and how to react in the event that one occurs. Find out by reading on.
How To Avoid Attacks
Shark attacks are uncommon, although they do occur, as we have previously stated. The majority of the time, a mistaken identity results in an attack; for example, a shark may mistake the flash of jewelry for the shiny scales of a fish. After the shark bites into a human, it rapidly discovers that the human is not nearly as tasty as the fish it was hoping to bite into, so it will let the human go and swim away. These kinds of run-ins, sometimes known as "hit-and-run" attacks, typically only leave the diver with a few very minor wounds. To prevent these erroneous attacks, divers might take certain precautions. Avoid wearing brightly colored wetsuits or gloves and give up your sparkling jewelry. Keep your cool and retain your position if you should happen to spot a shark. If you move too erratically, the shark can become agitated and decide to attack. You're safe as long as the shark is swimming in a very smooth and fluid way. You won't notice the shark is getting a little uneasy until it starts moving jerkily.
There are several actions you can do to protect yourself and get out of the situation if you ever find yourself in the extremely unfortunate position of being attacked. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is to fight back since a shark attack will not be stopped by standing still. Use a spear or long pole to stab the animal in the snout, eyes, or gills if you have one. Hitting any of these will give you time to depart the area because they are all very sensitive places for the shark. If the shark does indeed appear to be swimming away, carefully swim to the surface, keeping a close eye on it in case it decides to come back to you.
Accidents do occur, even though cage diving is significantly safer than free diving. A shark became entangled in the cage's bars in 2007 after a shark diving business left the bait too close to the enclosure. One of the cage's walls was broken during the shark's struggle to escape. In the end, nobody was hurt, but it does serve as a reminder that no activity is completely risk-free, much like biking or driving a car. We have covered the divers in great detail. Continue reading to see how diving impacts sharks directly.
How Are Sharks Affected?
It's crucial to note that there is some debate over the practice of shark diving. The main worry is that as humans become more common, sharks develop acclimated to them and attack more frequently. According to this line of reasoning, when boats bring sharks bait, the sharks will start to link boats and people with food. The same reasoning is used by wildlife parks when they request that you refrain from feeding the wild animals. Although most scientific studies do indicate an increase in shark attacks, diving with sharks has very little to do with this development. The first of the two primary causes of the rise is that much more instances are being reported than in the past. Consequently, there is just more data available to feed the statistics. The fact that more people will be living on the planet means that there will be more instances where people and sharks will coexist. As a result, the likelihood of a shark attack increases the more times a human comes into touch with one.
Many organizations entrusted with saving sharks completely endorse shark diving from a conservationist point of view. Shark diving enhances public awareness of the animals, lets people observe the sharks' amiable side, and offers excellent opportunities for researchers to collect useful data. Overall, going shark diving is just as risk-free as going on a nature hike. There is a chance of danger present at all times, but if you take precautions, are ready, and keep in mind that you are a visitor in a wild animal's habitat, it can be a fantastic experience.