Exuma, Bahamas offers a variety of exciting, thrilling, and fun activities. One of those is swimming with sharks on Compass Cay. Before you jet off and face your fears, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1.YOU’LL BE SWIMMING WITH NURSE SHARKS
Don’t show up expecting to be swimming with Great Whites or anything. While they might not be nearly as thrilling, they are safer. Nurse sharks are typically harmless to humans. They are bottom dwelling, slow moving, and mainly hunt smaller food. Be warned though, they grow to be huge. Their jaws are also super strong with thousands of tiny but extremely sharp teeth. They also have the ability to suck like a vacuum. All in all, just keep away from their mouths.
2.STAY AWAY FROM THEIR MOUTHS
This tip is so important we’re giving it its own point. Nurse sharks have extremely dangerous mouths. Between their jaws, teeth, and sucking ability if they get a hold of you, it won’t end well. You can for sure pet them (their skin feels like sandpaper!) just limit the touching to their back.
3.DON’T PULL ON THEIR TAILS
As we said, limit the touching to their back. But that doesn’t mean touch their tails. You’d be surprised by how many people think it’s okay to pull on a sharks tail. It’s not. If you pull on their tail, expect them to react and not nicely.
4.THEY WILL RUN INTO YOU
It’s important to keep calm while you’re in the water with them. You should know that they will bump into you. The owner will likely toss some chum (fish bits) into the water, which will cause them to go crazy, bumping into you as they go for the food.
5.THEY’RE PRETTY DOMESTICATED
These sharks are used to being fed on a daily basis by humans. This means that they’re fairly domesticated and used to human interaction. This should help ease any fears you have about being around them. Stay calm and treat them with respect, like you would when meeting someone else’s pet. They’ll swim right up to you, let you interact with them, heck they even have names!
6.STAY ALERT WHEN THEY’RE EATING
There are signs along the dock saying don’t feed them while in the water. Here’s the thing, there’s a difference between feeding them in the water and being in the water while they’re fed. Don’t hand feed them ever- we’ve already been over why that’s a bad idea. You can toss food into them while on the dock, or be swimming in the water while others feed them. Just make sure your hands are above the water when they’re being fed.
7.YOU’LL HAVE TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO GET THERE
Compass Cay is a private island but is open to guests. Most hotels can arrange for you to have a day trip there. You could also ask a tour guide or rent a boat and go yourself. A man named Tucker owns Compass Cay so be sure to say hi to him!
8.BRING A CAMERA
These sharks are very used to interacting with humans. So much so that they’ve learned how to pose for a picture. Not really, but they are very photogenic. They stay pretty close to the dock and you so you’ll definitely get some good pictures.
9.YOU DO HAVE TO PAY TO PLAY WITH THEM
There is a fee to get into the water with the sharks. The good news is that it’s only $8 per person. It’s well worth the price! Make sure to have cash to pay for the adventure.
10. LISTEN TO THE GUIDES, AND ANY AND ALL RULES AND REGULATIONS
Swimming with these nurse sharks is far more fun than it is dangerous. Having said that, it’s extremely important that you listen to the rules and advice of the guides. These creatures might be docile, but they are still incredibly dangerous. If you have any questions or reservations maker sure to simply ask. There is no need to take any unnecessary risks while you’re with them.