Shark Feeding Dive with Stuart Cove in Nassau, Bahamas
by Sean Mcloughlin
(Bronx, New York. USA)
In 2006 on Christmas Day mid-afternoon I did the Stuart Cove shark feeding dive. It was great and scary at the same time, considering I had only gotten certified about a month earlier in Aruba.
This was a dive and vacation to cheer myself up from putting my dog down who had cancer.
The first dive was a normal dive and the minute you entered the water you saw sharks. Only about 5-6.
The second dive was the shark feeding dive. While switching tanks from the first dive you add extra weight to keep you on your knees in the sand/arena as the area the feed takes place is called.
Definitely add weight as one diver didn't and he had to hold on to a huge rock the whole time.
Once everyone was on the bottom and kneeling, the bait box and feeder enter the water and that's where the 5-6 sharks become 20-25 in seconds - they know its feeding time.
You're instructed to remain still and not to move your hands as they look like the fish heads being fed.
The sharks bang against you, one knocked my regulator out of my mouth. Just seconds after replacing it, one came from behind me banging its stomach off my head.
I began wondering what the heck am I doing down here.
At one point I rolled off my knees to my side and I was too scared to get back on my knees so I stayed like that.
Half way through I had to pee but thought the sharks would smell it and know its a sign of fear. Finally after a 25 minutes or so the feed was over the baitbox and chain wearing diver left for the boat and almost all the sharks left too.
We searched for any shark teeth that had fallen out, upon finding none we headed for the boat, which was a good thing as I was freezing and in need of using the head.
Thanks for sharing your story. And what a story it is! The more I hear about about shark feeding dives, the more I know it is not for me.
I can imagine thinking - why the heck am I doing this as the shark is butting you. These are wild animals after all - they don't know you aren't part of the show.
Another reader also just shared a similiar experience about his shark feeding dive off the Belize Aggressor and compared it to his shark dives where no feeding took place. He was fine when there was no feeding going on but, similar to your story, the sharks were aggressive while being fed (you can read Keith's shark feeding story here).
Thanks for sharing. It pretty much confirms I will never do a shark feeding dive.
P.S. Please accept my sympathy about your dog. I know how hard it is to put a dog down.
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