sharkdive17march2007-145.jpgYesterday I did one of the scariest things I have ever done. I have been scuba diving for many years and a couple of times I have come across that which I dread most, sharks. Coming across a shark, any shark, while diving is terribly scary. A shark can turn on you at any moment and there is nothing you can do about it. Two years ago I was diving for lobsters off of the coast of Rockport, MA. I had my hands in a cave trying to pry out a lobster when my dad turned just in time to see two 9 foot blue sharks come in on me. As they came for my back, my father reached to pull out his knife, the one small (and nearly useless) defense one has underwater. By the grace of God the two sharks turned just before hitting me, circled and moved beyond our sight (which doesn’t need to be very far in the murky New England waters). Needless to say we had a lesson in praying without ceasing as we kicked back to safety on our boat. We made it. While this encounter probably should have taught both of us a great and important lesson yesterday we decided to go on a shark dive.
My family is vacationing in the Bahamas and one of the local dive shops has told us about a shark dive they do. After a little talking my dad, brother, and I decided to go. We boarded the ship and headed out to Shark Junction, just off the coast of Grand Bahama Island. As we put our wetsuits on I looked over to see the dive master suiting up in chain mail. From head to toe he was covered in the thick metal suit while we stood by in wetsuits looking a lot like seals, a favorite meal of all sharks. As we jumped into the water and descended the fifty feet to the bottom the first thing we noticed were the circling sharks. At 6-8 feet in length they were more then intimidating, they were fearsome. At the time I only saw two but it was not long before more came into view. We sat side by side at the bottom of the ocean when the dive master, Scott, came swimming by. He reached into a canister and pulled out fresh fish meat. In a moment sharks were upon him. They were in a frenzy. Only feet away the sharks were hitting the fresh meat then swimming by, brushing my body as they turned to Scott once again. I looked upon, scared and in awe as I realized the amazing creation of our Lord. These animals were so strong and powerful, yet so natural and beautiful as they moved through the water seemingly effortlessly. I sat and thought how God specifically created these beautiful creatures, how they show his craftsmanship and strength. It was amazing. The feeding continued for nearly a half an hour as a I sat motionless, praying to Jesus that not one of these sharks would turn on their easy prey sitting only inches away, us. When Scott began to swim away with the swarm of sharks following the fish he continued to feed to them I was relieved. We turned to swim in the opposite direction, back to the boat. After a safety stop and short swim to the surface I was happily and safely back aboard the boat. It was one of the most frightful and amazing things I have ever experienced.
Shark swimming for my head