"Aren't you afraid of sharks?" many people ask.
Yes, of course, we fear and respect them.
They are big, wild animals. But does that stop us from enjoying the sea
and all it has to offer. No!
We love to swim, snorkel, clean the water line,
spearfish, and more. So do 1000s of other boaters here. We are all
in the water everyday, all day. And despite this, there are no incidents
with sharks. I guess this is where the respect part comes in. If we
are in the water and see a shark, we exit the water. If we spear a fish,
we lift it out of the water to take it back to the boat. We keep that boat
nearby. If a shark comes to admire our fish before we land it,
we give it to him. Remains from fish cleaning are dinghied to sea,
far from anchored boats. But, in fact, we have had very few shark
encounters while in the water at all. We never saw even one when scuba
At Compass Cay, marina owner Tucker Rolle feeds
and protects a family of nurse sharks. He invites his customers to feed
them and to even swim with them. When we got in the water with those nurse
sharks, they were totally disinterested in us. We wanted to get photos
with them, and they kept moving away from us.
Valt was spear fishing one day. He was catching
grunts, and decided he needed one more for a nice dinner. He swam upside
down into an opening to spear the last grunt. Suddenly he was face to face
with a shark! He says he didn't know he could swim so fast. But he
also said the shark seemed as shocked as he.
The most frequent sighting of sharks is when we are
trolling for fish. If we do not reel our catch in quickly enough, a shark
may steal it. After all, he is just looking for dinner, the same as
The other day, a nurse shark swam over to the
boat. He laid on the bottom, lightly sprinkled himself with a little
sand, and fell asleep. Guess he was looking for a little shady spot?
Sharks' dinner is fish. The ocean's janitor, the
shark does not mind if the fish dead or alive. We can thank him
for keeping the seas so clean. And mammals are not on their
Their cousins, the sting rays are plentiful
here. Yes, we see their long stinger tails and even swim with
them. We did not consider them dangerous at all until the accident with the
Crocodile Hunter in Australia. And just maybe he forgot to be
respectful of a wild animal when he climbed aboard its back for a ride.
No, we don't plan to stop enjoying the sea and its