Mako Shark Surprises Divers

Mako Shark Surprises Divers

The chum line moved quickly in the current.  A slick, oily, bloody mess from the crushed mackerel spread out towards the horizon. It was just a matter of time now before the first fin would break the waters edge and  press its way along the surface of the water towards the boat.  Once that happened we would be escorted to the shark cages by dive masters suited up in chain mesh attire to prevent any frisky sharks from breaking skin.  The shark cage bobbed about 20-feet below the boat.  It was held up by large buoy on the surface.  It reminded me of fishing with the bobbers when I was a child.  The funny thing is now I was the bait below the water and if those big bobbers started jerking around things would not be good below.  But this was a blue shark expedition and the blues aren’t really dangerous.  They’re sleek, graceful, and beautiful sharks.  Nothing to be scared of as long as you knew how to handle a curious shark.  Just a gentle pop in the nose and they turn away and skitter off into the blue unsure what to make of the jolt they just received.

The shark cage just after being launched from the boat.

The shark cage just before air was released from the ballasts allowing it to sink.

“FIN! Divers up!” shouted the captain who had a birds eye view from above.

The fin moved slowly towards the boat.  It was calm and graceful and not menacing at all.  Blues have a way about them. This one looked to be about 6-feet which is solid length for a Blue.  We were all suited up and ready to go so the dive masters took us down one at a time.  We jumped into the water and pulled hand over hand down the rope that leads to the cage.  The dive master shadowed us with a stick he would use if any sharks came too close.  There were no incidents on the way down and the first feeling upon getting your bearings in the cage is that you are floating in space.  You can’t see the bottom and it’s just blue all around you. Then the blues continued to come.  They would take curious passes alongside of the cage and you could see their eyes slowly giving you a once over to see why you were in there space.  They were anticipating a nice meal based upon the chum trail but it only lead them to these strange creatures blowing bubbles enclosed in a cage that would occasionally flash if they got too close because unbeknownst to them a diver was capturing that perfect image to hang in their study and share with their friends on Facebook or Instagram.

A Blue Shark swims past the cage giving us a curious look.

When you’re trying to capture images you can lose sight of everything else that’s going on around you which can sometimes be dangerous.  But the confines of the cage give you a sense of safety and security.  There would be no worrying about some shark trying to take a bite out of you with these aluminum bars as protection. The dive masters put on a bit of a show as they pulled bait from a protected tube along the side of the cage and fed the sharks. They tried to get them close to the cage so we could all get good pictures.  The blues would bite down and their protective eye lids would snap shut and then they would pull, tug, tear, whatever they needed to do to get that scrumptious bit of mackerel.

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