Six Tiger Sharks
Our dive shop manager Joe and I decided to visit Cathedral on Friday (November 20, 2015).
8:00 am sharp we sat on the boat and after a short ride and an equipment check we jumped in the water – which is now fortunately way warmer after this crazy “El Nino” winter is over – and descended with our guests.
By the moment we reached the bottom in 65ft we saw the first shark – a big and obviously pregnant tiger shark – she was checking around our bait box and was not really interested in us – she took barely notice of our presence. For the next 35 minutes of dive one we got really spoiled – we met as we first believed 4 tiger sharks – two big tigers, one of them pregnant as mentioned and two mid-sized female tigers.
After having checked all footage we found out that we had actually seen 6 tigers – 2 big females, 2 mid-sized females, one mid-sized boy and a baby-baby tiger by the end of the dive 🙂
As you may have heard, we have changed our ways and we are no longer hand feeding sharks as we feel that this is not an appropriate method in terms of a soft approach to watching sharks and their natural behavior. We are simulating instead carcass feeding, a natural occurrence for sharks.
Hence we had just an amazing time watching these amazing animals explore our bait box – attracted by the smell, figuring out how to get to one of the fish heads offered. The first dive was way too fast over – after some cookies and juice, hoping for the sharks to still be there, we went back down – and lucky us, nothing had changed – we saw four tigers at the same time – gracefully passing us, carefully exploring the bait box and curiously watching us strange creatures.
I was especially impressed by a young lady, a beautiful shark – she had a fishing hook at the right side of her mouth and some minor scaring on the other side – plus two beauty spots on the left side of her upper jaw – she was very attentive and interested in the whole scenery. The moment she came by I started to make some sounds (I was singing in my regulator – I call it singing – you may just call it sounds ;-)) to see her reaction and she turn immediately and came back twice to check me out – I loved her attention 🙂
Tigers were coming and going, keeping their set distance to us divers, swam sometimes up over our heads and cleaned our bait box out.
I am talking all the time just about the tiger sharks – just because I love them so much – but there was of course lots and lots of other sea live as you can see in the enclosed video – there were three napoleon wrasses – one of which was hurt by a spear as it looked like. The napoleon did not look that healthy and seemed to have an infection. Once it was time to ascend it happened – nature took it’s course and my new girlfriend 🙂 – took care of the wrasse, which was too slow and weak to escape – vey impressive to see.
As we approached the reef another tiger shark showed up – a baby tiger, only about 4 ft long – super cute!!!
Fortunately our guest Chris had his camera on him to document most of the dive and he was kind enough to share his footage with us here. All of us were deeply impressed – it was a magical dive and we were still talk about it over dinner 🙂
I am at this point a few dives short of 6,000 – I had my own shark dive for many years in Micronesia – this dive at Cathedral was for sure one of my three, if not the best dive I have made so far. From now on I’ll go out to Cathedral as often as time allows 🙂
By the way – we’ll have my friend Erich Ritter PhD the famous shark behaviorist with us for a week of advanced shark education and shark diving – don’t miss out on Shark School Fiji from June 4-11, 2016 only here at Beqa Lagoon Resort and the diving with Beqa Sharks, the most educating and exciting shark dive in the Southern Pacific. Click here for more information.