I traveled to the Bahamas for the first time in my life because I wanted to feel the uniqueness of that place underwater, to dive with sharks and to make some photos that I didn’t have in my portfolio. Even though I am a scuba diving instructor and I’m diving for more than 20 years, I had a completely new experience underwater because the Bahamas give you something that you can’t get anywhere else in the world.
Leader of this trip was one of the world’s best underwater photographer Alex Mustard, who is also my very good friend and also Subal Pro Team colleague. Alex has more than 30 years of experience when it comes to underwater photography and it’s always a great pleasure for me to travel and dive with him, and of course to exchange experiences.
When we arrived at Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, we went to a place called Stuart’s Cove. It is the organisation which offers all kinds of underwater activities and their dedicated work over the years has helped in developing of diving tourism. Amongst other things, they are known for feeding the reef sharks for more than 20 years and in that period of time, they came to some new facts about these fishes.
We were going on a dive with the professional shark feeder and that was a thrill seeking experience which gave us a close-up look at these magnificent and misunderstood creatures. The feast of the sharks is taking place on sunken ships, and when you have more than 50 reef sharks swimming around you in that environment it’s like you are in a photographers paradise.
The act of feeding was probably left the biggest impression on me, and also the shark hypnosis or so-called „relax immobility“ technique. It’s a technique used by experienced divers who hypnotize shark by rubbing her nose, which leaves this big creature completely paralysed (and harmless) so you can do with them whatever you want. Diving with these sharks is generally safe, but there are a few rules you have to follow.
The most important are to keep eye contact with them and you have to remain calm, not to make sudden moves, you have to keep the situation in the control. I have to admit, the camera that was between me and sharks in our most close encounters helped me not to feel that much exposed.
After a few days in Nassau, we went to a small island called Bimini, which is famous for diving with hammerhead sharks who are a little bit fearfully. Epic Diving Center in Bimini is well known for feeding the hammerhead sharks who are three to four and a half meter long and very unusually shaped. Diving with these sharks was completely different from diving with reef sharks but equally fascinating. In some moments, there were nurse sharks and, a bit aggressive and dangerous ones – the bull sharks.
Maybe they are known as a scary and bloodthirsty predators, but sharks are actually not that dangerous at all and they won’t harm a human for no reason. However, the underwater world is their kingdom and if something bad happens, you would be completely powerless. Diving with sharks on the Bahamas was one of the most wonderful diving experiences I have ever had and every diver needs to try it.
A couple of days with bad weather didn’t give us much of a choice when it comes to taking photos, but with a large number of dives, I got the opportunity to make photos I’ve wanted. During the two days we had five dives per day and during each dive we were almost an hour underwater. I used a different light settings and techniques that I don’t usually use when I work underwater and I think I managed to take photos that are different then most of the underwater photos I have in my portfolio.