Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shark Reef: simply miraculous!

Shark diving in the Reserve gets better and better, with no end in sight!

Common wisdom had it that the Bull Shark numbers peak in February and then slowly decline until all activity peters out in November when the pregnant females leave for the birthing grounds and everybody else gets caught up in the mating frenzy.

Not this year!
January was just phenomenal but then came April with an absolute record of 40plus, this on a single dive! Even August was excellent and even now, mind you on a very lucky day, we are recording a dozen or more individuals! True, they are mostly sub-adults and they are at best finicky when it comes to accepting food - but still, our customers love it!

Are we witnessing a trend?
I sure hope we are, as the old-timers continue to be faithful and more and more newcomers are learning the ropes. Very very rewarding indeed and a clear indication that our model seems to be working!

As to the other suspects, we now boast three Giant Groupers and scores of other Sharks. And not to forget, close to 400 species of tropical Fish!
Right now, the Greys, Silvertips and Blacktips are all over the place and present great photo-ops on the shallow portion of the dive. They are clearly on the menu of the big guys and seem to sense a temporary truce. This is the realm of Papa Manasa and he sure has it down to an art - to be seen to be believed, dozens of Greys behaving like lambs in the presence of a binful of bait!

And the biggest of them all is even bigger yet, truly enormous!
Yes, Scarface is very very pregnant and looks like she's gonna pop anytime. In fact, on her last two visits, she staid high and circumspect and Rusi had to go meet her up in the water column in order to push a tuna head into her mouth. She deigned to accept it but then didn't swallow it right away, preferring to parade it around for a while before taking off into deeper water.
Very unusual and very interesting too - may this be some incipient feeding inhibition prior to giving birth, like the one displayed by the pregnant bulls?

Assuming that Tigers may choose some safe birthing ground and knowing about their impressive range, we fully expect her to take off and not be back for a while. Last time, friends who know her spotted her in the Yasawas, several hundred miles away, so we could be in for quite a wait.
In any case, all very interesting and loads of fun!

With January-March already flagged for plenty more action in Conservation and Science, along with a plethora of diving celebrities, this is the perfect time to make a booking! Space is filling up fast (really, and this despite of two boats!), so drop us a line and reserve yourself a ringside seat on the Best Shark Dive in the World!

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