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Picking up on shark behaviors and styles

September 8, 2017 Written by

My first dive day was magical. There is something about these majestic animals that pictures and words cannot capture.

I got into the cage and turned to face open ocean. I immediately was awake. You could say the cold water woke me up or attribute it to the coffee I had prior to my dive. But, what really woke me up was the blue eyes of the ultimate apex predator of the ocean, a Great White, passing by the shark cage. It circled cautiously and observed me as well as the bait. You could see the strength that he harbored in his body. Every turn was precise. His goal, a piece of tuna that was floating in the water.

Shortly after, more sharks joined the feeding party. I was amazed with how many sharks we were seeing and their feeding patterns. After a short time, you start picking up on the patterns of different sharks and can time your photo based off the different behaviors and styles of the sharks. You could see a hierarchy in the group of sharks. When two sharks were going for the same piece of tuna, one would turn away and immediately disappear from view and leave the other to its attempt at the bait. They are not mindless blood thirsty meat eaters. They pick their prey with caution and determine if it is worth the energy.

I liked being on the surface just as much as being underwater. The crew truly loves these animals and enjoy baiting them. The wranglers would be laughing and joking around keeping the spirits up. They would time the movements of the sharks to give the ultimate photo. I got some great surface shots and a few breaching shots. Even with all the joking and laughter, the crew was very attentive to our needs. Whether it was a diver that was getting out of a cage, the need a different camera, or even a sip of water, the crew was on it. I don’t think there was any need that didn’t go unmet.

– Kimi Etter, Big Bear Lake, CA


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This post was written by Guest Kimi

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