Have you ever swam with sharks in the Bahamas? Imagine your first ever shark encounter is set in Bimini, only having known the terrifying creatures of the sea through movies and TV shows. You cruise on a speedboat through the soft waves of the Caribbean Sea, leaving behind the comforts of the land. When you arrive to your destination in the middle of the ocean, you watch as your peers jump into the water one by one, leaving you behind, last man standing. You stand on the edge of the boat, look down below the crystal clear waters, and see a frenzy of sharks swarming the waters. With eyes closed, you take one deep breath and jump in… only to notice last second that you’re falling directly on top of a shark. But unlike the movies and TV shows that portray the creatures as unforgivingly ferocious, the shark is just as scared as you and swims away as fast as it can.
Now imagine that after an experience like that, you fall in love with the creatures so much that you leave your office job behind and decide to work with the exact excursion agency that gave you your first shark encounter. That’s exactly the story of Pablo Aviles, Sales Manager of Bimini Undersea. We had the pleasure of speaking with him and learning about the sharks that inhabit the waters of Bimini, and the various ways that they can be explored with Bimini Undersea, the excursion agency of Resorts World Bimini.
“Sharks are commonly known as monsters of the sea”, Pablo exclaims, “I once thought the same.” People are simultaneously fascinated and fearful, craving knowledge on the creatures yet hoping to never cross paths with one in the wild. Movies like Jaws, Sharknado, Deep Blue Sea, Open Water and countless more portray the fish as horrific, life threatening creatures. Shark Week, airing this entire week, is an annual shark-based program with a strong cult following. Every year’s program brings in record-breaking millions of viewers, giving people a mesmerizing glimpse into the lives of these mysterious creatures. And while sharks definitely do portray a potential threat to swimmers, Pablo is confident that “Bimini Undersea aims to show a different side to the creatures, you’ll have a better understanding of them once completing one of our excursions.”
No matter whether you’re an experienced scuba diver or a beginning swimmer, Pablo ensures you’ll be able to participate in the various excursions offered by Bimini Undersea. The agency offers three different Shark Encounters, based on your level of experience. These Shark Encounter excursions are set within the beautiful blue waters of Bimini, no cages and no barriers. Swim with sharks in their natural habitat and get an up close view that rivals any Shark Week program or thriller movie.
Not so confident in your swimming skills? Start off with level 1, “you’ll receive a life vest and be able to float without thinking” as you snorkel with black tipped reef sharks in 25 feet deep water. Feeling a little more risky? If you’re scuba certified, venture with level 2, where you’ll be able to swim with sharks and even experience a photographed feeding session. For those who want the ultimate rush, level 3 is a unique experience only offered during the winter months. You’ll be transported to the famous shark-filled area of Bimini, Triangle Rocks, where you’ll dive deep below the surface and freely swim with Great Hammerhead Sharks. This once in a lifetime opportunity also features a photographed feeding session with the magnificent creatures.
365 days a year, those diving in Bimini can come across Black Tip Reef Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Bull Sharks, Great Hammerhead Sharks, and the occasional Tiger Sharks. Bimini is a true haven for sharks, not just because of its perfect climate, but also because of its preservation measures. “For years, shark fishing has been outlawed in the Bahamas, so this area is a sanctuary for sharks to reproduce and thrive.” When asked if the sharks in these excursions pose any true threat to visitors, Pablo confidently replies, “Sharks are biologically afraid of people. It would rather eat something smaller before it would ever bite you.” Pablo goes on debunk the common misconception about sharks being the most dangerous, terrifying creatures. He ensures that Bimini Undersea educates visitors before all excursions. As long as you don’t harass the sharks in any way and let them be in their natural habitat, you should be free from worry.
When you look at the facts versus the fabricated tales, sharks deserve more respect as magnificent creatures of the sea. Sure, they can be dangerous. But they don’t always have to be. Oftentimes humans are labeled as victims against sharks, but the reality of the matter shows the opposite. 100 million sharks are killed per year by humans, while no more than 10 people worldwide are killed by sharks annually. Bimini Undersea gives visitors a chance to see sharks in a light they’ve never seen before. Pablo is one of many members of the excursion agency who are passionate about the creatures and who wish to shed some of the fear that people have and replace it with pure fascination.
Make your own Shark Encounter story by diving with sharks in the Bahamas with Bimini Undersea.