Bull Shark Dive
One of the craziest things either one of us has ever experienced...open ocean - no cage - arms length from one of the most dangerous sharks on the planet. Barefoot Kuata resort is one of the last places in the world (one of 2 they claimed) where you can still participate in open ocean bull shark feeding. The reason there are not many left, may be because of the number of accidents involved. Just a few days prior to deciding to do the dive, we were talking to friends on another island who had shared a story of a dive instructor who had lost his arm during one of these feeding dives at a different resort a few years back. That resort had since shut their dive down, but despite this warning we decided to go ahead anyway!
They take you out in two boats, one for experienced divers and one for novice divers, so Zorina and I went out separately. The former group hopped in the water first, above the top of the reef which was only about 5 meters deep. The four of us swam alongside our guide/guardian as we equalized during our decent to 15 meters, and hugged the reef wall as we approached the feeding platform. As we came around the corner, there were already 1-2 smaller sharks circling the area in anticipation. As you can see in the pictures, they had constructed a small rock wall from broken pieces of the reef to kneel behind. We were moved toward the open end so our backs were actually exposed to the oceans. The novice group then began to descend with 2-3 people per bodyguard as they took their positions.
Once everyone was settled, the feeder and his guard came last as they were a trigger for the sharks to know it was feeding time. The action picked up quick, within 2 minutes there were at least 8 sharks circling in and out in search of food along with a few massive schools of fish. The feeders stuck fish heads on a pole and released it into an open sandy area no more than 5 feet in front of us. As the sharks swooped in, our guards used long metal poles rounded at the end to keep the sharks from taking a bite of something else. Once it started, it was a blur of adrenaline and excitement as over a dozen bull sharks came cruising through. Above us, behind us, right in front...there was often 2-3 sharks within touching distance if you were dumb enough to stick a hand out in the open.
Once the feeding was finished, the feeder and his guard were the first to leave. The sharks pick up on this queue quickly and actually clear the area almost immediately after the feeders leave. The group then made their way back to the top to head back to land. Here are a few pictures for reference, but if you want the videos of the sharks up close check out the 'Videos' page here or find some more on Instagram.