Diving Nassau, Bahamas: Shark Diving
My favorite dive from our entire trip was the Caribbean reef shark feed. It was the perfect Valentine's Day gift from my husband!
We dove with Stuart Cove's, a dive operator known both for Bahamas shark diving and the underwater production of many major Hollywood films, such as Flipper, Jaws: The Revenge, Into the Blue, and quite a few James Bond movies.
This was the third shark feeding dive I've done (the first two were in Lucaya, Grand Bahama, and Beqa Lagoon, Fiji) and by far the best executed. The divers were positioned outside the deck railing of one of the local shipwrecks. The feeder, dressed in chain mail, kneeled in the center of the deck with a bait box. With a long metal spear, he would feed one shark at a time. The reef sharks behaved in as orderly a fashion as one could expect and would circle predictably around the perimeter before venturing back into the center for another shot at food.
Reef sharks are neither large nor particularly aggressive, so there was little reason to be afraid of them, even when they came super close. Regardless, they were 100% focused on the fish handout.
Shark feedings are a controversial practice, but also a lucrative one and arguably one that assists in education and conservation efforts as well. Although Stuart Cove's performs the shark feeding every day, our feeder informed us that he only takes about a dozen fish down each day, so the sharks are probably getting less than a fish apiece.
I don't think that this experience will ever get old to me, but I'd like to see bigger and more different kinds of sharks in the future. We saw lemon sharks and a bull shark on our Fijian shark dive last year, but that particular feeding was so chaotic that I could hardly see anything. I've never seen a tiger shark, so those are high on my list. Maybe next year? :)
Please check out my entire Nassau underwater photo gallery here.