Swimming with SHARKS

We’ve been lazy bums island hopping for the last month enjoying some of the best beaches the world has to offer. It’s getting hard to remember the number of jaw-dropping sunsets we’ve seen, or the number of bays where we snorkeled with vibrantly colored fish amongst beautiful corrals, or all the outrageous  fire-dancing parties on the beach every night. Everything begins to blur together!

All of those beaches and ‘wow, this is incredible’ moments don’t really compare to Koh Tao. This island is out there on its own for its added element of adventure. It’s impossible to get from one place to the next unless you’ve hired a massive 4 wheeler. One of us (usually Rhys!) had to get off our crappy scooter and run along next to it, as the other (ME) tried to Flintstone the scooter up vertical hills. Koh Tao has a ton of different bays all over the island, each one offers an entirely different array of corral and underwater life. Spending a day zooming around exploring different bays feeling a little like I’m on the Discovery channel. The snorkeling here is by far the best we’ve done in Thailand. The variety of fish & corral is beyond impressive. Huge yellow corrals that look like a sponge, fingerlike corrals flowing with the current, flourescent purples and blues and yellows and greens.

“Life under the sea is better than anything they got up there!” – Sebastian, The Little Mermaid

Our zany neighbors (that’s right, we had neighbors) told us that Shark Bay at dusk is a must do. So, we set out to find it the following day. It seemed only slightly insane to swim for 30 mins off the shore using cheap water leaking goggles in search of sharks. Who cares if they’re harmless reef sharks? When your swimming with a 15 ft. shark you quickly start to feel like you’re in a real-life Jaws film. Shark Bay has no living corral, it looks like an elephant grave yard.  The corral is all dead, white, and in big broken pieces that look  a lot like bones when your swimming 30 feet above with goggles that have a constant water leak. It made the search all that more exhilarating.
And…ba-dun…ba-dun…ba-dun…(Jaws sound) we spotted our first shark. Quickly followed by another and another. Before long they were everywhere, on the prowl for their next meal, gliding effortlessly through the water as Rhys and I floated a few feet away. Adrenaline rush isn’t even the word for it. We floated at the top like a buoy alerting each other of any shark in the distance. Totally engrossed in the moment.
Backpacking. Everyday brings some new adventure. Something new to see, try, ride, explore, taste, meet… today… I swam with sharks!

Understand why it felt like we were in a Jaws film?



One Response to “Swimming with SHARKS”
  1. Tom says:

    “harmless”. Whatever anyone told me, I couldn’t use that word to describe a shark, I think Jaws just disturbed me far too much. They’re sharks!!! One thing I just couldn’t do.

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