Last year, BARE celebrated its 40th anniversary by taking divers on three of the world's most amazing dives with its BARE The Adventure video series. Adventure team divers explored the breathtaking beauty of Rangiroa, Tahiti, the epic diversity of the Great Barrier Reef, and the frigid unknown off the coast of British Columbia. In addition, BARE asked Sport Diver and Scuba Diving readers to share their ultimate dive adventure story for a chance to win one of these once-in-a-lifetime dives.
Surrey, British Columbia
We were recently in Honduras enjoying a relaxing dive vacation. The corals and sponges were the healthiest we’d seen in the Caribbean, and the abundance of life was breathtaking. Frank guided us along the wall where we saw marine life too numerous to list. Off in the distance, I spotted a large eagle ray, which our videographer started following. Eventually, after a relatively nondescript dive, we made our way to the safety stop. Our dive master started tapping his tank to point our attention toward the water overhead. Thrashing above us was a full-grown male great hammerhead shark. He had just caught his lunch: the same eagle ray we’d been following. Frank was a little worried when the shark didn’t swim away, so he rapidly tapped his tank to get everybody down to the reef. This tapping seemed to startle the shark and caused him to drop his lunch, which then proceeded to swim into our dive group on the reef to hide. As you can imagine, the hammerhead was very irritated at this point.
My husband and I were in the group far from the reef when the shark turned and swam directly at me. I felt like a deer in the headlights. I’m an experienced shark diver after being in the water with blacktips, whitetips, oceanic whitetips, nurse sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, silky sharks, scalloped hammerheads and bull sharks. I know what I’m supposed to do — get down fast. Luckily in this case, my husband and another diver were hiding behind me, so we looked like a wall and the shark turned away. At this point we all headed for the reef. Get down, stay low — the first rule of unexpected shark diving. The hammerhead circled us searching for his quarry for almost five minutes. Once the shark started losing interest, Frank signaled us to swim toward the next reef, where our boat was tied to the mooring line.
It was amazing! That size shark hadn’t been seen for more than 10 years. And he wasn’t after us — just the eagle ray. I would repeat that dive over and over and over again. It was incredible! And imagine my delight when I found out by reading Scuba Diving online that there is a pair of hammerheads who hang out in Tahiti eating what else but eagle rays.