September 18, 2016

Swimming with Sharks in Bora Bora

Remember our first day in Bora Bora where it was pouring rain and we got to swim with sharks?
We weren't too sad that it rained that day, because
1) we had a blast and
2) we knew we had another chance because we had the same excursion booked during our Bora Bora Stay (it came with the hotel reservation)
Well, you can imagine our disappointment when we woke up that day and it was pouring rain AGAIN! It was almost comical. We even contemplated to skip the excursion, but I'm so glad we went.

The first stop was snorkeling. Katie told our tour guide that we had taken this excursion the week before with the Cruise Ship and he just laughed and said this excursion was nothing like it and that it would be better. And boy, was he right!

So we thought we went swimming with sharks last week but I guess this is what swimming with sharks really looks like! 
Can you believe this? The guide kept throwing food in the water and they went crazy for it, as you can see in this video!

After they were (hopefully) all fed, he told us to get in the water. He put a rope up from the boat and told us to stay behind the rope. While I wasn't scared at all to go in the water the week before, this truly terrified me. There were SO many and we had learned at the resort that they can't see very well and just snap when they feel vibration in the water to reach for the food, so there was a real possibility that they would mistake us for more food, right?
While I was scared shitless, how could you not take this once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with sharks?
I hung on to the rope for dear life, shivering and hoping I wouldn't get bitten. And while the sharks pretty much stayed in front of the rope (the tour guide kept feeding them in that area), a few didn't care and swam right next to us and under us. And when one of them touched me, I decided I was nuts and got out of the water as soon as I could...ha!

They were everywhere, it was insane!

The other thing we learned about sharks that week, is that the blacktip sharks we swam with are pretty harmless and only bite if they mistake you for food. 
Lemon Sharks however just bite to bite and we were warned about them. 
So when our tour guide told us that our next stop was swimming with lemon sharks, I said hell to the no and told Katie to stay on the boat.

We got to our final stop and what does Katie do? She jumps in the water! 
The lemon sharks were about 6-7 feet long, so MUCH larger than the blacktip sharks, but they swam much deeper in the water than the other ones (the water is about 15-17 feet here). 
Katie said she didn't care about the blacktip sharks at all anymore, she kept staring at the five lemon sharks (and one lemon baby) that were directly underneath her and when one came straight up, she clung onto the boat for dear life, trying to get out! At one point she was snorkeling for a few seconds and the current carried her far from the boat - needless to say, at that moment, she swam back to the boat as if she was Michael Phelps.
It was definitely an incredible and thrilling experience and I'm glad we all made it out in one piece.

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