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Old 23-02-2019, 16:58   #16
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Re: Shark safety snorkeling the Bahamas

I have a device called a 'shark shield'. Cost about AUS$$ 600. I understand the Australian and US Navies use them. Better than nothing and not that hard to use.
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Old 23-02-2019, 17:22   #17
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Re: Shark safety snorkeling the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Iíve been a Spearo for some time now, and the General opinion is do NOT do that, the reason is that you have just taught that shark that
Scuba diver = food.
Did not think about that aspect of giving up the fish and it's a point I agree with wholeheartedly. For the same reason I am completely opposed to shark feeding dives, just a really bad idea to teach sharks that divers bring food. When I made the comment I was thinking of a situation where the shark is going for a speared fish already and you aren't able to immediately get away. In that situation I would not fight the shark for the fish.

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Iíll stick a bug or two, but Iím not man enough to pole spear a good grouper and with this Ciguatera thing I donít think I want fish from a reef anyway.
I gave up fish years ago, for the ciguatera and other reasons. i may be wrong but if I recall from many years ago I think grouper were considered a safe (ish?) fish in that regard. Anyway it was my son-in-law spearing and he's aware of the risks. He's also a fanatic at the sport. Where he lives in New England he typically free dives to 65' or so to start hunting. Shoots 20-30 lb stripers all the time and has shot much bigger fish so a 8-10 lb grouper to him was small stuff. Of course the shark that came after was a different matter.
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Old 23-02-2019, 17:34   #18
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Re: Shark safety snorkeling the Bahamas

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If you dive, one of the most beautiful dive spots in the world is at the NW corner of the lesser bahama bank, a few miles north of Memory rock. It is called Mt. Olympus.

Mt Olympus is a deep dive, so not for beginners. 90' on the inside, 110' on the outside quickly tapering down to 400' and more. You are completely out of sight of land. But you will NEVER forget it. It is set up like the aisles of say, Home Depot. Except the shelving goes up 60' on either side of you. There are roughly 6-10 of these and each one is about 100' long, Covered in corals and fish. Anchor in the sand on the inside.
Thanks for the tip. Am putting this on my list.

There's another really spectacular dive but even more advanced. About 6-7 miles west of Bimini there a vertical wall that starts at about 130' and drops to 500-600'. You're in the Gulf Stream so definitely a drift dive. We did it in teams on trimix, with a standby diver and a chase boat ready for whatever. Tow a surface marker so the boat can track you. Downside to that dive is doing deco floating in open water. That's the only other time I left the water because of sharks. Just floating free in deep water like that makes them really curious. The longer we hung the more showed up, the more curious they got and the closer they got. After about half of our planned 20' stop we decided to finish deco in the boat.

The coral is spectacular, perfectly healthy and undamaged. Water so clear that at our max depth 260' we didn't even need lights.
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Old 23-02-2019, 17:38   #19
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Re: Shark safety snorkeling the Bahamas

We’ve spearfished the Abacos for 25+ years with few problems.
Rule #1. Get the speared fish out of the water ASAP.
Rule #2. Don’t clean your fish until you’re out of the water for the day.
Following these rules we’ve only had 2 or 3 scary incidents in 25+ years. No injuries other than soiled pants.
Enjoy your snorkeling and don’t worry about the men in the grey suits.
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Old 23-02-2019, 17:54   #20
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Re: Shark safety snorkeling the Bahamas

What about lionfish? Two of the twelve species are invasive to the Caribbean and the east coast of the U.S. One of the two species is considered to be aggressive to divers. Has anyone come across these?


Interestingly but perhaps not surprising, lionfish in reef areas that have culling efforts supposedly tend to flee divers.
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Old 23-02-2019, 18:07   #21
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Shark safety snorkeling the Bahamas

I have done a few drift deco dives.

So tell me, what is it that hangs under an orange float underwater?

BAIT.

I couldnít stand hanging under that lift bag on deco, canít see anything in any direction, after awhile you begin to hear the Jaws music.

For those that havenít done it, you shoot a lift bag to the surface to hang on to do deco, holding a stable depth is darn near impossible without a lift bag, and I donít do 10í stops cause with any real wave action that is tough too.
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Old 23-02-2019, 18:21   #22
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Re: Shark safety snorkeling the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I have done a few drift deco dives.

So tell me, what is it that hangs under an orange float underwater?

BAIT.

I couldnít stand hanging under that lift bag on deco, canít see anything in any direction, after awhile you begin to hear the Jaws music.
And that's exactly what I felt like. It got really spooky looking down into the dark and every few minutes see a shadow slowly rising up to circle you a couple of times them drop back down into the deep. I kept thinking about how clearly we were silhouetted against the sky from below and how well the sharks could see us while we couldn't see anything at all.


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For those that havenít done it, you shoot a lift bag to the surface to hang on to do deco, holding a stable depth is darn near impossible without a lift bag, and I donít do 10í stops cause with any real wave action that is tough too.
Absolutely. With no visual reference even staring at your depth gauge it's almost impossible to hold a depth. Hanging on a float is the only way.

There is a better way to do this dive but when we were there the Nekton Pilot was anchored over the spot and covered the entire area with boats and divers. But if it's clear you can dive the wall a little farther south then top the wall and do most of your deco moving up the reefs towards shallower water.
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Old 24-02-2019, 14:18   #23
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Re: Shark safety snorkeling the Bahamas

Drew
I have been a diver my entire life. I have experienced many shark encounters with many different species of sharks. . My encounters with large sharks are some of the most memorable experiences in my life. I recommend that you start out easy and stay close to the boat or dingy until your experience and confidence grows. In no time at all youíll be wanting to spear that snapper for dinner. Good diving to you and donít forget to take a camera
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Old 24-02-2019, 16:10   #24
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Re: Shark safety snorkeling the Bahamas

Thanks for all the great advice. Don't stop if you have anything to add I just wanted to say thanks to those who have contributed so far. I feel appropriately excited and cautious.
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