Even the most courageous people have fears to overcome. Are you afraid of something tangible, like spiders or are you afraid of heights? Are you afraid of failure or perhaps the unknown? No matter what it is that scares you, acknowledge, confront and take ownership of your fear to keep it from holding you back in whatever you desire to do in life. Sometimes we let our fears control us and we end up missing out on experiencing new adventures or even career opportunities. In my case, I didn’t let my fear deter me of a new adventure to swim with sharks.
A few times a year, television news networks report on shark attacks. The viewers automatically associate sharks as the “bad” creatures of the ocean. Some folks go as far as saying they are the bullies of the ocean. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I personally feel the ocean is their home and we the people are invading their territory; therefore, we should know what the risks are when we venture into the ocean. Anyways, that’s a whole other conversation…
While exploring The Great Exuma Cays in the Bahamas, we came across a tiny island called Compass Cay. My husband and I were in a boat with approximately ten people including two boat captains. As we approached the island, we immediately began to see nurse sharks swimming by our boat in the crystalline waters of the Bahamas. At that moment, my eyes were witnessing an incredible scene. However, my desire to enter the water with these creatures was becoming slim. The captain noticed people’s reactions and he didn’t hesitate to compare them to big catfish while docking the boat. He assured us that we were going to be fine, and strangely enough I believed him. He told us not to be afraid that the sharks would swim by us and wouldn’t hurt us. His only warning for us was not to put our hands in front of their mouths or try to take selfies because “they ARE sharks”.
The sharks are not contained in a specific area. They are free to come and go as they please. It appears the sharks have been hanging around Compass Cay for a long time. Besides, they know they will be fed, and there is no threat to them. So, I assume that’s the reason they stick around. Before we got in the water, an employee at Compass Cay pounded a wooden paddle against the dock three times which served as a sound mechanism to get the sharks to the marina. The employee then proceeded to feed them bloody pieces of fish, and we were given the okay to get in the water. As the sharks go for the food, they swim at a rapid speed making them bounce right into you. I was surprised to learn that sharks are not slimy creatures. Their skin is a rough texture, which I thought, felt similar to sandpaper. I cannot describe the frightening yet exciting feeling I experienced. My brain could not make up its mind. For the first time, I was happy and scared at the same time. I was enjoying the moment. Enjoying life! The shop
A nurse shark swimming by our boat.
It’s a shark life! My dear husband – His & Hers Adventure and Staying Together! Rule #1
Herman, Woody, Hook, Ross, Squirl, Lefty, Mutt & Corn are Friendly 🙂
Swimming with nurse sharks was a once in a lifetime experience. It was definitely a unique adventure. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things even if it is once a year. You may be surprised at how well you manage. Conquer your fears and spread your wings my friends.