Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Diving with Sharks

We like Bimini. Both Jim and I have a history there from long before we met each other. Bimini is the Bahamian island that is closest to Florida. We went on a short dive trip there two years ago with our dive club, and this year we did it again. This time we took advantage of Neal Watson's Bimini Scuba Center and their special Hammerhead shark dive.

It's a 2 hour fast ferry ride from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini, then we checked into the Big Game Club and relaxed for the rest of the day, ready to dive in the morning. I just love the palm trees in the tropics! And the beautiful turquoise water.

On the first day, we dove the famous Sapona concrete shipwreck and a shark dive with the ever-present Caribbean reef sharks.
The weather turned a bit ugly on the second day, but we were able to get out and do the Hammerhead dive anyway - the most dangerous part of the dive was getting back up on the ladder in the 6 foot seas! There were 2 hammerheads in the water with us and, although the water was a bit murky, they came close enough for us to get a good look. Here's Jim's video:

The weather continued to get worse until our ferry home was cancelled. Darn! We're stuck in the Bahamas for another day :-) We're very good at making lemonade when we're handed lemons and found out about the Bimini Shark Lab where they study all the sharks in the area, especially the Hammerheads we had just seen.
We were able to get in on a tour and listened to one of the staff tell us all about it. Two very interesting tidbits.

  1. Their studies (using radio transmitters on the sharks) show that the shark-feeding tourism has not changed the Hammerheads migration pattern, or basic feeding habits. That is very good news.
  2. Sharks are not, as we've always believed, attracted to human blood. Fish blood, yes, absolutely, but human blood - no. They experimented with dropping a quart or more of human blood near the sharks and they paid no attention at all. Just a drop of fish blood made them come running.
They also had an enclosure with some baby sharks that she told us all about.

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