It was an experience that I was thrilled to tick off my bucket list – to dive freely with sharks. And, would I do it all over again…totally!
It was at the Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary in Sydney where I got the opportunity to dive into one of their aquarium tanks to get up-and-close to a variety of marine creatures including beautiful green sea turtles, massive stingrays, large schools of fish, inquisitive wobbegongs and of course, the impressive Grey Nurse shark.
After completing the safety training it’s quickly to the tank area to get our wetsuits and dive gear on.
Then as we enter the pool tank the rush of cold water hits you instantly and it all becomes too real. At this stage my heart was pumping and there’s a slight moment where I think “what am I doing?’. But I shake it off and start to descent to the bottom, then swim through the tank with our dive masters.
During the dive I notice there are so many active marine animals coming very close to you. Then, once you stop moving you see them – huge Grey Nurse Sharks between one to three metres in length weighing up to 350kg.
What is impressive about these agile creatures is that they’re actually not aggressive or harmful at all. Even though their large protruding teeth look like they could rip you in half – in reality they can only manage to eat small fish, so we were off their menu.
It’s a surreal and privileged experience to be in the water and so close to these gentle giants. Especially as they’re critically endangered on the east coast of Australia with less than 500 recorded.
Here is a preview of what I experienced during my shark dive at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary:
Manly Sea Life Sanctuary
Cost: starting from $205 (AUD)
*Shark hand feeding also available.
Have you dived with Grey Nurse sharks? Tell us where you got the chance to see these endangered creatures?