Seeing a shark in the water really gets your blood pumping. We've seen plenty of nurse sharks and a couple of lemon sharks before but those aren't the kind of sharks I'm talking about. I'm talking about scary sharks. The kind that can take a nice sized bite out of a limb.
We were in the stunningly beautiful Rudder Cay, the neighboring island to David Copperfield's Musha Cay, when a fellow cruiser dinghied over to say hello and tell us about a piano that the king of illusions himself had allegedly sunk not to far from where we were. It made for a pretty neat snorkel excursion he told us, because not only was there a piano down there - but a mermaid as well. So off we went to see for ourselves.
Because we have a baby, snorkeling looks a little different for us. The three of us pile into the dinghy and head to our destination where Scott and I snorkel one at a time while the other stays back with Isla. It's worked well thus far. Snorkeling alone is better than not snorkeling at all.
Scott went first, and I followed about ten minutes later with our awesome Olympus underwater digital camera in tow. The piano and musical mermaid were in about fifteen feet of water, with nothing around them but soft white sand. It made a beautiful contrast in what would have otherwise been a very boring snorkel spot. As I was free diving to get pics, I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that something was watching me. I kept looking back into the dusky blue water at my back, but saw nothing. I shook it off and attributed the feeling to a bonafide shark paranoia brought on by a childhood of watching JAWS I, II and III on repeat. I swam back to the boat and no sooner had I hopped in the dink and removed my fins and snorkel when Scott's eyes went wide. He looked at the water behind me and said very calmly, "Shark".
"No way. No way. No way" I kept repeating as it's black silhouette slipped directly under our dinghy with a slow and meandering side to side swagger. This was no nurse shark. "Shut up. Shut up. Shut up." I said over and over as we watched it swim toward the rocky shore. This thing had definitely been watching me. Not only that, but it had followed me back to the dinghy. I know they are a curious species and I'm sure I was in no real danger, but still - putting two and two together was unnerving to say the least. Scott grabbed the camera, put his hand underwater and started snapping pics.
We're not sure what type of shark this is, but he was at least five feet long. The photos we were able to get were when we followed him into the shallows where he leisurely swam before heading back out to wherever it was he came from. Suffice it to say, we didn't go swimming the rest of the day. While I know it's more likely to get struck by lightening than attacked by a shark, I have zero interest in playing those odds while swimming with one.
From now on, I think I'll stick to snorkeling the coral reefs and leave the piano-playing mermaids to Mr. Copperfield...unless the shark was all part of the illusion?