I peer through the clear, salty water to see my husband descending alone to the sandy bottom 18 meters below. I reach out to grab him, but he slips away too fast. I try to catch his attention but have no way to make noise (I really need to work on that problem!) I put my regulator in my mouth, go down a couple meters and yell. Of course, that doesn’t work. He keeps going. I can clearly see the three huge lemon sharks gliding through the water below him. Can’t he? The Dive Master said anyone who was feeling queasy in the swells could drop down out of them. Rafael should know he didn’t mean to go all the way to the bottom alone!
The rest of us start our descent. It’s a perfect day for a dive; clear, 85 degrees, light wind. The water is 80 degrees, so Rafael and I don’t wear wet suits. The water is clear for at least 18 meters, so I can easily keep an eye on Rafael. He now hovers on the clear, sandy bottom. It’s nice and flat, with no flora around. The two sharks are circling him. He is turning like a wheel, watching them as well. The only sound I hear is my breath through the regulator. It’s very calming, unlike what I’m watching. In. Out. In. Out. When the sound starts to fade away, I pinch my nose with my fingertips and blow hard. Crackle. Pop. My ears clear and I can hear again. I continue my descent and perform an ungainly pirouette, feet first, to see what’s behind me. I see other divers, some small fish and clear water reaching out forever.
In less than a minute, I make it to the bottom. Rafael joins me. I try to give him a wifely disgusted face, but it’s hard in a mask and regulator under water, so I give up and enjoy the view. Sharks! They circle us all now. The lemon sharks are wonderfully ferocious looking, with a blunt head and round eyes, and the much-expected mouth full of teeth. These are big, maybe 3 meters, and have a second dorsal fin. An entourage of small fish stay so close, they look to be attached. The sharks watch us closely but make no aggressive moves. We continue our dive, checking out other interesting flora and fauna. A moray eel sighting is cool, but nothing comes close to the excitement of the sharks. We are at dive site Tapu in Bora Bora, it is the first time we have seen sharks, and it is thrilling!
Can I do this adventure?
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most difficult.
Courage Level: 2 – If you scuba dive, this is a great place to do it. The water is clear, warm and full of amazing things!
Fitness Level: 2 – This is no different from any other dive. All diving requires some basic level of fitness, but nothing crazy.
Do I need special gear?
A few bathing suits and lots of sunscreen!
We also brought our snorkel and mask but we did not need them because they had them in the rooms. Although we didn’t have a camera for our dive, we did bring our Olympus Tough camera to take lots of other underwater pictures. It was great for snorkeling and when we fed the sharks and rays.
We use Top Dive, a PADI 5 Star dive shop. We do a two tank dive, our first to Tapu and our second dive to Toopua. Tapu takes you out of the reef that surrounds Bora Bora so you see bigger sharks, but the sea can get rougher. The other is a beautiful coral garden. http://www.topdive.com/bora-bora-diving.html#dive-sites
This is not our typical adventure trip. It is the only trip we have taken without our daughter since she was born and it is very luxurious. We still have some great adventures, but it is not exactly budget -friendly as a whole! On that note, we stay at the Four Seasons, which is out of this world. The bungalows over the water, the treatment by staff, the views, the ocean, it is all amazing. For us, probably a once in a lifetime trip! http://www.fourseasons.com/borabora/