I interviewed Mr. Munro this week about his recent experience snorkeling with sharks and stingrays.
What made you decide to snorkel with stingrays and sharks?
Moorea is a small but beautiful island. We could either explore the island or do some sort of water activity. When I read about swimming with sharks the theme music to Jaws came to mind. The stingray part of the excursion sounded just as dangerous. Steve Irwin anyone? In the end I decided you have to take risks occasionally because you can’t stay wrapped in cotton wool all your life. Besides, I could have fallen off my bar stool or slipped on the wet deck…
Tell us a little about the experience. Were you apprehensive?
Apprehensive was an understatement! I finally gathered courage and entered the water with my snorkel gear. It felt as if I were getting into a tepid bath. I still wasn’t too sure, but it seemed okay, then the guide started throwing dead fish into the water. I thought he was mad. Then I realized he was “on” the boat and I was in the water. I decided perhaps I was the idiot!
How close did you get to the stingrays and sharks?
After the fish throwing things happened quickly. A stingray glided past, then another one. They wanted to play, swimming right up and over me, wanting to be stroked and rubbed. I was so excited I forgot about the sharks. That was until something caught my eye, heading straight for me through the clear water. The problem with wearing goggles is that everything is magnified. The shark looked enormous. It was actually only one meter in length. There were about six or seven black tip reef sharks circling, deciding if I was on the menu or if the guides’ dead fish were more appealing. I’m happy to say the latter seemed more popular for a snack. Being surrounded by stingrays and sharks, I was overcome with a sense of euphoria, not fear at all. The sharks kept a respectable one or two meters distance all the time.
What else did you see during your time snorkeling?
There was a lot of other sea life around – lots of different fish – and coral, but the coral wasn’t that exciting. I was very fortunate to follow a moray eel for about a hundred meters as it went from rock to rock looking for and eating fish. That was almost as exciting as the sharks!
Would you recommend this experience to others?
I’d put this experience up there at about number three or four on my list of life experiences. Seeing the gorillas in Rwanda is number one on my list. I really enjoyed my swim with the sharks and stingrays, so if you get a chance to visit Moorea … do it!
To see more animal photos visit Camera Critters.