There are a lot of ways to make your dives safer, but the risk is still there. Humans are very intelligent. We know when we enter the water, we are entering shark territory. Period. We enter the water and are no longer at the top of the food chain. We accept this as scuba divers, free divers, and swimmers at the beach - and yet it becomes a media frenzy when there is an incident and the sharks are the only ones to blame.
Every day I think to myself how extremely lucky I am to have been able to swim next to such marvelous animals and see them in their natural habitat. One day there won't be any sharks left. Populations are declining so rapidly, they will become extinct within our lifetime at this rate.
One thing a lot of people don't realize is how FAST this interaction is. When you have 10 lemons swimming around, they are everywhere. Their personalities are so different than the summer sharks we get! Sometimes your neck gets sore from turning and looking in every direction at all times. Sometimes you'll have a lemon swim straight at you, nose to nose while another swims between your fins at the same time. The experience of swimming in such close proximity to these magnificent creatures is otherworldly. How incredible it is to coexist with Earth's most feared predators! During our dives, Ryan has been freediving more which is very difficult. To time the descent to the exact depth and position with the sharks is what makes it so challenging. They can turn or change course in a second and the bait keeps falling while we stay at one depth hoping to get close to the shark. We got lucky with this series of shots (although I missed the nose on this one). When a shark comes in to get a piece of bait, she doesn't just stay there with her mouth open cheesing for the camera. It takes a split second for her to open her mouth, extend her teeth and close it around the fish. It's all about timing and out of 200 pictures I took that day, I like a handful of them. It's hard to tell with such a wide angle lens, but this shark is within a few inches of my camera. What a moment!