Up close and personal

In the Coco Islands we did half our night dives on the shallow side pf Manuelita, a very small island very close to the main island. On one side of the island was a drop down to about 100 feet and on the other, more protected side, the drop was to around 30 feet with a gentle slope down to 100 feet. This small island is a nesting ground for birds which while it is quite beautiful to look at, it does get a little fragrant after a rain.

The night dives were very interesting because the white tip sharks were hunting. They moved around in packs and would follow the black jacks who were also hunting. If you saw a black jack swim by, you were going to see a pack of white tips following on after it. These packs would contain anything from a few sharks to a several dozen, and they would move around the rocky bottom very quickly. Most of the time you could just hang there and you would see sharks, but I preferred to stay on the bottom and wait for them to stream around me. Sometimes they would all jump on some poor unsuspecting fish and a feeding frenzy would ensue, something I once saw from 4 feet away.

This shark was not too big, about 4 feet long, but swam right into my camera to a point where it needed to backtrack to swim on (you can see its left pectoral fin backing up). I was half expecting it to take a bite at the camera which would have made a great picture but would have been unnerving for sure.


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