Swimming with the Enemy

The Tuamotus Diaries #12, Day 25 – June 22nd 2016

We were warned about it.

We knew.

Moreover, as we were about to drop anchor for the first time in the Tuamotus, a specimen swam under Pesto. Its obvious profile and the Tuamotus’ clear water delivering an unequivocal message that it was about to happen.

The next day, as we ventured in the water for the first time, a certain rush was running through our veins.

And then, the expected surprise.

It takes a lot of reprogramming the mind to swim in the company of sharks. And we have been exercising this every time we go in the water here. The place is full with reef sharks – mostly of the Black Fin and White Fin variety.

They seem to be curious, for every time we enter the water, one or a few of them come by to check us out. They come close, swimming slowly – as if showing they come in piece – take a peek, and go away.

The ones inside Makemo aren’t too big – around a meter on average – and have thus been a nice opportunity for us to get used to them on a scaled manner. We know we will be swimming with bigger ones soon.

As we grow comfortable with their presence, we appreciate more and more the grace and power of these animals.

Unfortunately, sharks have been the target of heavy fishing, especially for their dorsal fin, which is deemed an exquisite delicacy in certain countries. The fishing is so violent that during the time it took you to read this post, at least a thousand sharks will have been taken from the oceans and killed for their fins.
It is sadly ironical that sharks have been portrayed as the “bad guys” among humanity, and yet it is us, humans, who are working diligently to eradicate them from earth.

We are the sharks’ worst enemy.

And for that, mr and mrs reef sharks, we humbly thank you for giving us the opportunity to swim in your company in piece – Thank You !

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2 Replies to “Swimming with the Enemy”

  1. Pois é. E quando estiverem extintos, daí vamos eregir museus em homenagem, e patrocinar estudos caríssimos de dna para tentar “reviver” a espécie …

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