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carriersanders
03-13-2008, 16:00
I am so curious about shark experiences...I am new at diving and haven't seen a shark yet...Is it terrifying?...Do you get over being scared after the first one? :smiley5:

RoyN
03-13-2008, 16:35
I saw my first leopard shark in California, I didn't see one, but two and they were in love and swimming side by side! :smiley27::snill:

Otherwise, my suggestion is sit back, stay out of the way, and the watch the beautiful sight! You may not see it as those fish are heading toward extinction. :smiley19:

cmburch
03-13-2008, 16:52
I saw a small angle shark sitting on the bottom in Monterey Bay. My wife saw a Great White hit a female elephant seal from Aņo Nuevo Island. It was in between the island and shore - an unusual place for a Great White. I've seen leopard sharks when swimming near piers. I have even caught them when fishing.

cummings66
03-13-2008, 16:54
I am so curious about shark experiences...I am new at diving and haven't seen a shark yet...Is it terrifying?...Do you get over being scared after the first one? :smiley5:

I have never seen a shark, but I can answer your question "Is it terrifying?". The answer is, does that type of thing scare you intensely? If so I'd say yes it is. Do you get over it? Depends on you, how do you handle things that scare you above the water?

You are not going to change under water, if you're afraid of animals above it that can eat you, you will be scared of them below as well. If you respect them above then you will do so below.

The answer varies. For me, I think I'd be intimidated, not sure I'd want to see them in the first place. I believe I could easily get over it though because I am not the type of person who handles things poorly under stress, I'm pretty calm and serious about things. In fact I have never really panicked in my life so I think I could learn to handle seeing sharks. I'm just apprehensive about them like I would be anything I've never done, but I am not afraid of the experience.

For example, my wife will scream if I walk into a room and she's not expecting me to be there, she's easily scared. I'd bet you she'd panic in a split second. I will turn and look towards the potential confrontation but not react in a manner which makes me seem weak, I seek the upper hand so I don't think I'd panic. Which way are you?

cmburch
03-13-2008, 17:26
If I saw a Blue or a Great White while diving, I would probably have a heart attack. I would drop all my catch and hug the bottom swimming into shore and try to keep it in sight if it was to come down after me.

chris in the socal
03-13-2008, 18:02
I have been collecting horn sharks of the coast of Catalina for the past 3 months. I love them they are so cool. I just saw an angel shark last month. One of the coolest things ever. I have to say when you see your first large shark you will kind of freak. The biggest sharks that ive seen was three blues to say the least I have loved every experiance.

ChrisA
03-13-2008, 18:12
Horn Sharks are common here. I kind of expect to see them in some places. But they are not "real sharks" they are just bottom feeders and stupid ones at that. I've seen a few leopard sharks in shallow water around Catalina Island. Once an angel shark ran into me and whacked my hand in near zero viz at night. I'm sure it like me just couldn't see where it was going. It took off fast. Only once did I come across a "real" shark. It was on a local reef in about 30ft of water. My buddy pointed it out but I did not get a good look. It bolted when it saw us.

BSea
03-13-2008, 18:19
I've seen sharks on a few dives. It does make your heart race a little, but my experience is that they pretty much ignore people. I believe in each case they were caribbean reef sharks. 1 was probably about 7 to 8 feet, and the others were smaller.

If you want to see sharks, try to be the 1st off the boat, or hang out & be the last on the boat. At least that's the advice I've been given, and each time there were no other divers around when I saw sharks other than my buddy.

chris in the socal
03-13-2008, 18:19
Most of the sharks do bolt when they see you.

Soonerwink
03-13-2008, 18:20
I have seen several silky sharks and black tip reef sharks at the Flower Gardens. You usually have to be one of the first in the water to see them. They don't stay around long when all the divers start fanning out. I clean the leopard shark tank at our local aquarium. I am constantly having to push them out of the way, they don't seem to mind me being there and I think it is kinda of cool. A lot of people take pictures.

terrillja
03-13-2008, 18:44
I am so curious about shark experiences...I am new at diving and haven't seen a shark yet...Is it terrifying?...Do you get over being scared after the first one? :smiley5:
My first time seeing a shark was during my deep dive and it was far away. My second was when a nurse shark went in between my buddy and I when we were about 10' apart. It was more amazed than anything, and I didn't get the camera on in time. Beautiful creature though.

Athena2c
03-13-2008, 20:11
My first shark encounter was in the Bahamas and we were diving in an area without other divers and the shark-Caribbean reef shark-just came from the shallows and over the wall maybe 20 feet from us. Amazing..I was mesmerized. They are so graceful and incredible.
Later in the same trip we went to "Shark Reef" and saw 5 or 6 reef sharks. One of them stuck around for an entire hour...just kept buzzing by the reef and came within just a few feet. I LOVED it (hubby said I was grinning through my regulator). I did not want to get out of the water. I think he was as curious about us as we were about him.

I was not scared at all, but I have been wanting a shark experience (without doing a feed dive-just not my thing) since before I started diving. It was the whole reason we took the Bahamas trip :smiley20:

Duckydiver
03-13-2008, 20:24
I saw two nurse sharks while drift diving in Cozumel last week. I would guess they were around 4 foot. They were not at all threatening and just went about their buisnes befor swiming away. I was very excited.

Splitlip
03-13-2008, 20:32
When you see your first shark, embrace the experience. Suprisingly, you will not be frightened. It is different when you are under water with SCUBA, than say snorkeling, swimming or surfing.

Although many surfers I know, don't exit the water when the sharks come. I do.

I see you are a hunter. Of course blood in the water and a wounded fish can change things.

Trey9123
03-13-2008, 21:12
Don't worry honey, I'll be there to protect you from the big bad sharkie warkie.

chris in the socal
03-13-2008, 21:19
I cant wait to go on my great white trip. I get a rush from just seein a great.:smilie40:

Defman
03-13-2008, 21:49
This is kinda long, I'll try not to wander... Cozumel, 2000, my first real dives since getting certified. Sucked down a tank in about 20 minutes, dive master sent me up alone to the boat. They got a little way away to the north of me when two baby sharks passed me heading south. Signaled DM & group with two fingers, hands about a foot apart, "fin" on head. DM's starts looking around, seems excited, but doesn't see them as they're long gone. DM signals me to head up over the wall to ascend in a clear area, so I do.... and coming right at me is what, at the time, was the biggest shark in the world... passed about 20 feet to my left, and took off to the south... Guess who did his safety stop going in circles???????

After everyone was back on the boat, I told the DM about the two babies and he said "Yeah, I was looking for mama!!", to which I replied, "I think I found her too!!!"....

Never-the-less, they are the coolest & most majestic thing I have ever seen in the water...

moosicman
03-13-2008, 22:21
This is kinda long, I'll try not to wander... Cozumel, 2000, my first real dives since getting certified. Sucked down a tank in about 20 minutes, dive master sent me up alone to the boat. They got a little way away to the north of me when two baby sharks passed me heading south. Signaled DM & group with two fingers, hands about a foot apart, "fin" on head. DM's starts looking around, seems excited, but doesn't see them as they're long gone. DM signals me to head up over the wall to ascend in a clear area, so I do.... and coming right at me is what, at the time, was the biggest shark in the world... passed about 20 feet to my left, and took off to the south... Guess who did his safety stop going in circles???????

After everyone was back on the boat, I told the DM about the two babies and he said "Yeah, I was looking for mama!!", to which I replied, "I think I found her too!!!"....

Never-the-less, they are the coolest & most majestic thing I have ever seen in the water...


That was very unusual behavior you saw, as sharks do not care for their young as dolphins or whales or even alligators do. Once a shark is born it is on its own to fend for itself...mother doesn't stick around (there may be the odd exception in a particular species, but I've never heard of one...can anyone else shed light?). I would be willing to bet this wasn't mama and kids. It more likely could have been a bigger shark stalking smaller sharks, or just plain happenstance.


OOOHHHHH....after I re-read your post I realized that it was possible for them to have just been born.......silly me...LOL

RoyN
03-14-2008, 00:29
My wife saw a Great White hit a female elephant seal from Aņo Nuevo Island. It was in between the island and shore - an unusual place for a Great White.

They're always there around March to April. This is around the time when our biology class go out on the boat and we tag the great whites too for class. :smiley20: I sure love to see them underwater, otherwise the only biggest shark I ever saw was the leopards at Amentos Reef.

As for feeding shark dive, I very much oppose that as I like to see them eat their natural food and it looks awesome rather then seeing someone give the sharks horse meat and other whatever stuff is in that. :smiley11:

cmburch
03-14-2008, 01:44
They're always there around March to April. This is around the time when our biology class go out on the boat and we tag the great whites too for class.
That sounds exciting that you took part in the tagging project. Is there a place to read about some of the findings? Did you observe or tag sharks between the point and the island? I was told they do not normally like going shallow water in narrow channels. My wife was stationed on the island for her UCSC undergrad research. I remember I use to have to call a lumber company near the island that had a transceiver to talk in the evening.

OTGav
03-14-2008, 06:22
You get lots of lepard sharks round here, love to see them and never get bored of them - remind me of like high performance cars.

Gray nurse are lovely too, rare, but a few sites you can get lucky, and sometimes very lucky.

As for fear, I know I was breathing much harder than normal for the first 5 minutes when I first got buzzed by a load of Gray Nurse - same thing with my breathing when I unknowinlgy came up through a shoal of 10 of them.

Anything under 50cm away and bigger than me makes me breath hard for a bit I guess. Oh yeah, the teeth might have something to do with it.

Defman
03-14-2008, 07:31
This is kinda long, I'll try not to wander... Cozumel, 2000, my first real dives since getting certified. Sucked down a tank in about 20 minutes, dive master sent me up alone to the boat. They got a little way away to the north of me when two baby sharks passed me heading south. Signaled DM & group with two fingers, hands about a foot apart, "fin" on head. DM's starts looking around, seems excited, but doesn't see them as they're long gone. DM signals me to head up over the wall to ascend in a clear area, so I do.... and coming right at me is what, at the time, was the biggest shark in the world... passed about 20 feet to my left, and took off to the south... Guess who did his safety stop going in circles???????

After everyone was back on the boat, I told the DM about the two babies and he said "Yeah, I was looking for mama!!", to which I replied, "I think I found her too!!!"....

Never-the-less, they are the coolest & most majestic thing I have ever seen in the water...


That was very unusual behavior you saw, as sharks do not care for their young as dolphins or whales or even alligators do. Once a shark is born it is on its own to fend for itself...mother doesn't stick around (there may be the odd exception in a particular species, but I've never heard of one...can anyone else shed light?). I would be willing to bet this wasn't mama and kids. It more likely could have been a bigger shark stalking smaller sharks, or just plain happenstance.


OOOHHHHH....after I re-read your post I realized that it was possible for them to have just been born.......silly me...LOL


The "babies" were maybe about 2 feet long, I doubt they were newborn. I would also guess the adult shark just happened to be in the area, I didn't really get a chance to look between it's fins to even see if it was a boy or girl. :smiley2:

carriersanders
03-14-2008, 16:32
Thanks for all of the responses...that makes me feel much better...I kinda thought that they would be charging me automatically...I think that I will be scared, but amazed at the same time.

cmburch
03-14-2008, 17:09
Well, just avoid the stringer of bleeding fish dangling against your left leg. Give all your fish to Trey to hold for you. And swim on his right. That is the reason why I am careful not to surface in deep water with bleeding fish near the Monterey trench especially in the spring with all the pups swimming around.

carriersanders
03-14-2008, 23:02
Good advice cmburch...Trey is definitely holding all of the fish that we spear...plus I do not want to hold the stringer because I have heard that barracuda are attracted to shiny objects.

Splitlip
03-17-2008, 10:51
I am so curious about shark experiences...I am new at diving and haven't seen a shark yet...Is it terrifying?...Do you get over being scared after the first one? :smiley5:

It would be nice to ask these folks...but nobody has seen them for a while

carriersanders
03-17-2008, 17:53
Lol...Thanks for that one...I will definitely be scared of that shark!

Splitlip
03-17-2008, 17:58
My pleasure :)

DarinMartell
03-17-2008, 19:07
I'm also a bit aprehensive about seeing a shark, looking forward to it but i am sure it will me a tense situation.

With your signiture there really is only one answer:

DONT PANIC