Sunday, November 16, 2008

snorkeling with sharks

below: the snorkel/dive boat. seats, no life preservers and (apparently) no rules.

……………………..unfortunately, nobody had an underwater camera.
the namara vunda’s “papa joe” took seven of us backpackers out for a snorkel trip, and he had himself a long spear (so he could spear little fish). ..when he’d spear a fish, he would rip it into little pieces so that he could (and i am not making this up) feed the local reef sharks.

now – this wasn’t some kind of pen, or a sectioned off area, or a safe, happy cove. ..we were in the fiji ocean, snorkeling over some reef, and swimming with (among other things) white-tipped reef sharks. ..even though the coral was beautiful, and even though the diversity of sea life was dazzling, it was hard to pay a lot of attention to that once the sharks arrived.

it is truly amazing that, once you realize that the sharks aren’t going to bite you, you get this incredible urge to touch them. ..yesterday, the snorkelers actually touched the sharks.

even though i tried, the sharks seemed a little shy on this day, and remained just out of reach (unless you had a piece of a fish in your hand). ..i opted not to feed the sharks because... uhhh... well, who wants their hands to smell like little reef fish, anyway?

on the boat ride back to kuata, the seven of us shark-swimmers experienced a natural high: crisp, clean air, crystal blue water, and the happiness that comes with returning to the beach with the same number of body parts as you had upon departure.

you may live to be 100, but you’ll never forget the day that you snorkeled with reef sharks off of kuata, fiji.


  1. Alright Lenny! Live it Brother. Aloha Willy and the Girls

  2. Willy!!!!

    You would have been feeding them!