We were at a dive site called “Twin Rocks” off of Koh Naang Yuan. The dive instructors told us where to snorkel and said that if we went very slowly, we might be able to spot some black tipped reef sharks. C was pumped so I decided to clamp down on my snorkel and give it a go. The reason I don’t go in the deep end of a pool is because there might be a shark, so knowing I was in shark infested waters had me a bit on edge. After losing sight of C on the swim from the boat to the reef, I had a bit of a moment of panic – I will not use the word ‘attack’ in a story about a shark – and learned that sobbing into your mask makes it foggier. We held hands from then on. We saw some cool fish, a bunch of coral and slowly made our way to the area where the sharks were supposed to be. I saw him first. I now had C’s entire arm wrapped in mine, like we were square dancing, and tried my best to point at the shark without looking like bait. C was thrilled, and since I was terrified and powerless, he used me like a kick board to follow the damn thing. (He is quick to point out that the reason we had to follow it was because it was swimming away from us and not chasing us which he says means it was more afraid of us than we were of it. That is impossible because if he were more afraid of me, he’d simply have passed out.) He got away, we got away, and I called the mission a success. Then we spotted another one, I couldn’t keep a steady breath and requested (not nicely, quietly or patiently) that we go back to the boat. I wanted a Wiley Coyote moment of running away on top of the water, but swam instead. We swam over all the diver descending, each looking more delicious (and closer) to the shark than the next. It was really cool to watch them sinking. I hopped on the boat and C went back out in search of more sharks. I just applied more sunblock.
Photos and video of this exist – we will upload shortly.