Sharks are Overrated

I’ve been to many different dive sites and I dove with a lot of different dive shops and organizers – but I’ve learned, more or less, one important observation: scuba divers love to see sharks!

Reproducing nudibranches on one of my dives from the Big Blue Explore

Reproducing nudibranches on one of my dives from the Big Blue Explore

If you get the chance to dive with an organization which care about the desires of their customers, one of the DMs will ask you or the group about their preferences. And if you’re lucky enough, all the other guests share the same interests. Unfortunately my luck barely clicks on, because I love to see the small stuff, while all the other scuba divers are praying for sharks.

I don’t like sharks that much. No, to be honest: I don’t like them at all. Yes, they are fascinating creatures, yes it’s impressing that they evolved first some million years ago – even before the dinosaurs – and yes it’s amazing how easily they drift against a current, while we are struggling not to get washed away. But is it worth to miss a pygmy seahorse hiding on a soft coral or a cleaner shrimp waiting in an anemone?  Not for me!

While the shark-fans are waiting somewhere on 30 meters or anywhere in the blue, using 2/3 of their air just  to catch one short sight of the shadow of a white tip some 50 meters away I’m just thinking of all the small stuff I miss there in the coral garden.

hat’s why I love liveaboard diving: plenty of time to watch the small stuff!

hat’s why I love liveaboard diving: plenty of time to watch the small stuff!

O.k., I don’t mind to see some manta rays passing by while I hang around on 5m doing my safety stop – like I experienced on the last trip on one of our Liveaboards in Palau. And I also turn around to have a glance at a hammerhead when my buddy is banging on his tank. But nothing can top the experience of witnessing nudibranches loving each other on a soft coral J or watching a coral hawkfish defending his shelter.

And that’s why I enjoyed diving in Palau that much! While we were hooked on a reef, facing the current and letting the sharks – with their creepy eyes – come as close as 30cm, I explored the sponge next to me with all its residents in detail.

But don’t get me wrong: I absolutely respect and adore sharks. And I would never ever even think about having a shark for dinner or trying a shark fin soup! And I really hope you’re thinking the same way!

But still, I think sharks are overrated. Don’t you think so?

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