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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tigers in Tahiti!

The first highlight of our trip was a Shark Dive with the chance to encounter Tiger Sharks!

On the way to the dive site we were greeted by a group of dolphins. A very promising start :)

At the dive site we waited for quite a while until the dive guides spotted the first tiger shark. Unfortunately, it was very shy and by the time I reached the bottom it had done a runner. Nevertheless, it was a very cool dive with four different kinds of sharks hanging around: Whitetip Reef Shark, Blacktip Reef Shark, Grey Reef Shark and Lemon Shark.

After a longish surface interval with lunch another tiger was spotted.

At first we didn't spot her, but we did have some beautiful encounters with Lemon Sharks, who were swimming quite closely past us. In addition a Nurse Shark also joined the fray.

And then came the big moment. Suddenly, the dive guide to my left screamed and pointed behind us. There the tiger shark was approaching! She did a couple of slow relaxed passes before us, giving us good photo opportunities.

This first encounter with a Tiger Shark left me really amazed. I have dived with many different kinds of Sharks. But Tigers are definitely a different category. With four meters was she substantially longer than any other shark I had encountered before, in addition she was much brawnier than other kinds.

So I was extremely pleased to finally have encountered a tiger shark and then even get such a good close look at it!

The next day we did it all again :).

We waited a long time before our first dive, but no Tiger wanted to show itself. So we decided to go diving nevertheless and we were rewarded with Grey and Blacktip Reef Sharks in large numbers. Often passing very close before or even over us!

After a beautiful hour our bottom time was finally nearing an end and we surfaced. Shortly after surfacing and settling down for lunch our dive guide spotted a Tiger Shark in the water! Since we had just come out, we couldn't immediately go diving again. Fortunately, the dive guide recognized the tiger as T5, a well-known female, and he was sure that she would hang around for a bit.

After an hour surface interval we went into the water again. At first nothing new happened. Blacktip and Grey Reef Sharks and lots of small fish. Then suddenly a shadow formed in front of us and T5 swam directly towards us! She made many passes around us, giving everyone a good look.

She was treated to a couple of tuna heads and was very relaxed the whole time. After only 45 minutes our bottom time ran out again and we had to surface. But we were left with an unforgettable experience!

Back on the boat the dive guide pointed out that T5 was most likely pregnant, which made all of us even happier :).

If I make it back this way, then doing another tiger shark dive will definitely on the todo-list.
We dove with Fluid and I can highly recommend it. They ran a very smooth, professional, knowledgeable and relaxed operation. If you're in the neighborhood and into Sharks give them a look!

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  • I'm waiting for more pictures and storries.....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:58 AM  

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