I see the sleek outlines of Caribbean reef sharks circling the boat and begin to have second thoughts about signing up for this. But moments later I’m kneeling on the sandy ocean floor, 13 metres below the surface, with a dozen other scuba divers. Our divemaster, donning a chain-mail suit and a silver motorcycle-style helmet, settles down in front of me with a metal box full of bait. The sharks swimming around us suddenly seem to double in number, to between 30 and 50. Most are longer than me.
They swarm the divemaster like one big, toothy tornado, banging their snouts against the bait box. With a hand-held spear, our leader plucks out fish one by one and offers them up to the school. I duck as a shark darts towards me, bumping me with its fin.
After a few minutes, the bait is gone and things begin to settle down. The sharks’ erratic motions become fluid and graceful. One by one, they cruise off into the blue as my heart rate goes back to normal. I follow the other divers forward and begin sifting through the white sand with my fingers to find two small teeth left behind by the sharks—tiny souvenirs from the deep.
If you’re ready for your own toothy encounter, book a two-dive Shark Adventure with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas. (US$155 per person)