Today was our first day out on the water with the hammerhead sharks, and it was AMAZING.
Day one is always a good time to bond with your fellow divers – you have newbies and veterans, photographers and observers, 20-somethings and 70-somethings. It’s a great mix of people from all walks of life. In our group, we have two lawyers traveling together from Switzerland, a firefighter from England with the best accent ever, one sign language interpreter from Kansas who spent 5 years in backwoods Alaska (I should add that her first scuba dive EVER was today, and she did it with hammerhead sharks), some folks from New York and the Dirty Jersey, one woman who lives in Turks because she decided Canada was too cold (amen), an edgy solo traveler from Japan, and then my dad and me, the Texans. The coolest part is that all of these people have little to nothing in common except for their love and passion for the ocean, which is what brought all of us together on this trip. We likely never would have found each other had it not been for this community + Shark Diver Mag, and we’ve already had such a great time sharing stories over beers, photos, and seafood.
After we got settled into the hotel yesterday (and after our ride in the sea plane!!), we spent the afternoon lounging by the pool and eating seafood and fried everything. We called it an early night, and woke up around 7:00am feeling rested and ready for sharks!
We went out on the water around 10:30am, which is nice because usually our dives start SUPER early. I guess hammerheads like to sleep in, because a late start in the diving world is a rarity. After our dive briefing by Vinnie and Deb from Epic Diving, we headed out on a short ride to the dive site.
We got to the dive spot, and the sharks arrived shortly after. We suited up, and began our descent to the shallow depth of 20 feet where we were greeted by 2 hammers, 2 nurse sharks, and 2 bull sharks! Wasn’t expecting to see the bulls out there with us, but apparently they’re all over the place, so not many of the veteran divers were surprised.
Since we’re in fairly shallow water, we’re able to stay down for a long time. At 20 feet, it takes forever to run out of air, but GoPro battery life still goes down pretty quickly, so I called it quits when my camera told me to do so. On the second dive, we had tons of sharks – lots of nurse sharks and 3-4 hammers – and a few crabs made a cameo, as well. We did two dives today, and got back to the hotel around 5:00pm.
Some positives from the day:
- I saw my first hammerheads and bull sharks!
- I didn’t chum! I usually end up throwing up on these trips (apologies if that’s TMI, but I’m just telling you the truth, my darlings). My dad says I’m adopted and can’t be his daughter because I get seasick. I guess I got my mom’s genes on this one.
- The weather was incredible – high 70s, sunny, and breezy.
Some lessons learned for tomorrow:
- Hydrate! All of that adrenaline really takes it out of you, and if you don’t remember to drink water, headaches ensue. Write that down.
- Just because it’s sunny and nice today, doesn’t mean it will be like that forever. It’s likely that we won’t get to go out tomorrow because of 30 knot winds. We’ll see.
- My dad needs to get a Mac, because he’s a professional photographer and he’s talented AF*, but he needs to get with the cool kids.
Here are some photos. ‘Til next time :)