JBL Hai-Workshop Bahamy 2018

Sharks in shallow water – it doesn’t get more intensive than this

At first I didn’t think anything could top diving with sharks. The thought of snorkelling at the stern of the boat in only 3 metres of water didn’t really thrill me. But I rocked up my ears ´when Erich Ritter told me that this would be the highlight for us! We left our dive site and I was amazed to see “our" sharks swimming in formation behind the boat.

Once we’d arrived in the shallow water, about 20 sharks gathered behind our boat. A member of the crew rewarded the animals by throwing them small fish snacks. Our first four participants got ready to join the sharks. Robin sat on the platform, legs dangling in the water, and looked at me: "If someone had told me that I would voluntarily climb into water with 20 sharks in it, I would have said they were mad. How things change!"

and he let himself slide gently into the water so as not to frighten the animals. The only thing making splashing noises in the water was the food. The sharks eyed him curiously, decided he didn’t smell or look like fish and then ignored him. Four participants were always allowed into the water at the same time. Erich Ritter supervised the whole action and told us again and again to remain in a vertical position and not to swim too far away from the boat.

I also went into the water to film and photograph the whole scenery. The water was smooth as glass, like in Jaws, the movie. But there wasn’t just one shark present, there were exactly 20 of them and with them 4 snorkelers. The sharks swam between and beneath the snorkelers and when pieces of food fell into the water, they accelerated like torpedoes to reach the food. They swam as closely as possible around the snorkelers. When two sharks were close together, one collided with the snorkeler.

Even when the pieces of fish landed only a few inches from our heads in the water, the sharks never missed or accidentally bit into a snorkeler.

It was always fascinating to see how the sharks were attracted to electronic devices. During the diving it was my flash, while snorkelling it was for instance Didier's camera. A shark slipped over his shoulder to examine the camera mounted on his arm more closely.

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