Shark caught off Cap de Creus!
The recent catching of a 4.5m long thresher shark off the coast of Cap de Creus national park yesterday prompts me to reflect on all things shark since diving with the perfect assassin has never really appealed to me. Ok I have dived with the odd wannabe (as in less than competent buddy) but never with anyone who has perfected the art as has the ultimate killing machine. So, what is it about sharks that appeals to some as opposed to entering the water and having a nice quiet bimble around?
There’s no doubting the majestic appearance of these species, they can be simply huge and often found in large groups and the chance of a “selfie” in this company is likely to impress friends in the bar for a good while and I do wonder whether this may hold the key? There are many parallels between the worlds of aviation and scuba diving. Both tend to be considered elitist and this often breeds a certain snobbery amongst the participants in these activities. I am not suggesting that all pilots and scuba divers are snobs (and I participate in both) but there’s no denying I have witnessed this trait in both quarters! So could it be this desire to impress that boots the quest for this specific adrenaline rush? Perhaps, but I feel it may be rather more complex than this.
There’s a certain compulsion in many to expose themselves to danger in an activity. This is the very core behind base jumping and mountaineering since it’s reasonable to assume these people don’t partake in these activities just to enjoy the pleasant view. So, to some extent there’s a distinct possibility that some scuba divers are also likely to thrill seek to the point where exposure to some danger could be an essential component in deriving satisfaction from the event. Recreational diving, whilst carrying certain risks, cannot be considered an extreme sport and a shark sighting adds a certain danger element without doubt. In comparison, it strikes me that technical diving covers both phenomena in as much as diving to extreme depths is a relatively exclusive club and undoubtedly exposes the diver to additional risk.
Then there’s the beauty in the sheer efficiency of the beast to consider. There’s no denying that to witness the shark in the very environment it reigns supreme is much more thrilling than in some aquarium. The shark is designed to move through the water with little effort and has the ability to vary depth to extremes also, the thresher in this case having been known to dive to depths of up to 500 metres! As divers one can’t help but to be in awe of such abilities.
I’m sure psychologists have worked and will continue to work long and hard to establish what the appeal is but for me, for now, I am content knowing that shark activity in these Mediterranean waters off the Spanish coast is an uncommon occurrence and look forward to seeing more information on the television screen.
Team Fleet – Ian