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Tiger Shark FACE-OFF!


(dramatic music intensifying) (booming) (riveting instrumental music) – Welcome to Tiger Beach. A world famous destination
for shark diving. More specifically,
tiger shark diving. And not only will
you see tiger sharks, you can encounter up to
five different species. All formidable, all
top marine predators, all on the same dive. And if that isn’t
intimidating enough, this would be our
first shark dive ever. Mario, I’m usually
really confident about
everything we do, but today, man, I hope
we didn’t bite off more than we can chew. Regardless, I got your back. – [Mario] Got your
back, too, man. Let’s do it.
– All right, you ready? – [Mario] Ready. – Let’s do it. Well, with every shark
dive comes the moment where you actually have to
dive in with the sharks. That moment is right now. Oh, boy. (music intensifies,
suddenly stops) (dramatic music) As I plunged
beneath the surface, cool water rushed
through my wetsuit, sending an instant
shock up my spine. My eyes scrambled,
struggling to adjust, just as they always do when
first entering the water. However, this time
was different. This time I knew I was
completely surrounded by sharks. But something strange happened as the environment
around me came into view. The nerves I felt above the
water instantly vanished, and were replaced
by laser focus. In a snap, my vision
and other senses elevated to a hyper state. A sensation I had never
felt until this very moment. Within these few but
critical milliseconds, my entire perspective changed. I was indeed aware of
the countless lemon
sharks around me, but I could also sense their
intentions were not to attack. If anything, they
seemed curious. Oddly enough, I actually
began to feel calm. Then I quickly
remembered my training. Do not stay at the surface
in the feeding zone. So with that, I began my
slow descent to the bottom. (ominous music) The water clarity
was incredible. Light beams cut
through the surface and glistened all around me. Sharks and reef fish of
all sizes float in and out of view in perfect harmony. And my heightened sense of
awareness made this journey all the more spectacular. As I neared the bottom,
the crew came into focus. Only another ten feet to go. And like the lunar module
coming in for a moon landing, I prepared for impact. Then with a slow
and subtle thud, I had landed at Tiger Beach. The thud quickly
triggered my mind and body into action mode. It was time to survey
the sharks I could see, but more importantly,
start searching for the ones I could not. (suspenseful instrumental music) Lemons, reef, and nurse
sharks circled the group, making an eclectic
mix of predators. And although they were
a pretty good size, they nearly vanished
in plain sight. My eyes were searching for
one thing, and one thing only. Tiger sharks. I know it’s hard to fathom
how a giant 10-foot plus shark could literally
appear out of nowhere, but trust me, they really can. And the most dangerous shark
is always the one behind you. Suddenly, a dark
shadow began to appear. Moving like a stealthy submarine from the edges of the ocean. My heart must’ve been racing
a million miles a second. And then a quick burst
of adrenaline allowed me to process the fact that
an enormous tiger shark was headed straight for me. I couldn’t believe my eyes
as the shark glided past. It was so big. Its mass literally displaced
the water around me, pushing my body aside by
the power of its wake. And just as I was coming
to grips with the reality of the situation, like
a phantom, it was gone. To be honest, I never imagined I would find myself
in this situation. Kneeling at the
bottom of the ocean, face to face with
the tiger shark. And the crazy part
was I couldn’t wait
for it to come back. (dramatic music) Knowing where the
sharks are at all times is the only way to prevent
an accidental attack, which is also the most
frequent kind of attack that occurs in these situations. And knowing the location of
the sharks is a team effort. Everyone checking
their surroundings, and signaling to
unsuspecting divers of a shark’s whereabouts. Sharks by their very
nature are curious. You can sense this immediately
being in their presence. Their eyes constantly scanning, their movements
subtle and calculated. But the one thing sharks also do is investigate
with their mouths. And this is not what you
want to happen to your body 40 feet below the surface. Even a taste test in these
situations can be fatal. So knowing where and how
a shark is approaching you is vital to avoiding any
regrettable situations. When we first arrived
at the bottom, the sharks were
still very cautious, circling us at a distance
of 15 feet or more. But with every lap, they
became more and more confident. Especially when the dive
master began to introduce food. Seeing the sharks chow
down giant chunks of fish was a quick reminder of the
seriousness of those teeth. The way they could just
devour fish after fish after fish was
extremely impressive. In fact, their
jaws are so strong, they can even crack the
shell of a sea turtle. While in feeding mode,
this initiated the sharks to investigate the rest of us. Almost as if they were thinking, “Who else has some
tasty fish for me?” Well, none of us did. So when this happened, it
created some spectacular flybys. (dramatic music) One after another,
they would approach and veer to the right,
and then to the left. And sometimes right overhead. (dramatic music) The overhead shots were by
far the most fun to film. In fact, the sharks got so
close you could actually see the electro receptors
in their snouts, which are used to detect prey. At this point, Mario, Coyote,
and I were having a blast. Even Jonathan was
getting into it. I could tell how mesmerized
we had all become by these apex predators. Their intelligence just as
formidable as their jaws. Then, just as their
curiosity and comfort levels hit their peak,
came the contacts. As scary as this sounds,
it’s actually quite simple to redirect them away from you. The key to this maneuver
is to gently palm down the shark’s snout, and
push it away from you, letting its momentum
do all the work. Check this out. Look at that barrel roll. Believe it or not, it
was actually kind of fun having these contacts. But then there are
times when the contacts get a little bit dicey. And to no fault of
his own, Coyote, well, let’s just watch. Yikes. That was close. So, so close. In fact, let’s watch
that again in slow-mo. (dramatic music intensifies) See, one thing you
don’t want to happen when making contact
with any shark is place your hands or any part
of your body under its nose. This will trigger a reflex
that drops the shark’s jaws and yeah, you can kinda fill
in the rest on why this is bad. Good thing Coyote got
lucky and was able to quickly avoid that chomp,
or this would’ve turned into a horrific bite episode. Definitely not something
we ever want to happen. (heart beating, intense music) After Coyote’s close
call, we all realized our air was running
low, and it was time to head back to the boat. One by one, we ascended
to the safety stop just below the ship. At this point, I could
see the smiles all around. We had done it. We successfully completed
our first major shark dive. And what made it
most special is that we had done it together. Whoo! That was pretty amazing, guys. – Wow, were those some
up-close encounters with some gorgeous sharks. I don’t think you get much
closer to the tiger shark than I got on that dive. Amazing. Whoo, all right, let
me get this gear off. – Well, guys, we did it. We dove with some
really giant sharks. Dude, that was awesome. What a great way to start off
the Blue Wilderness series, and I for one cannot wait
until our next adventure. I’m Mark Vins. – And I’m Coyote Peterson. – Be brave.
– Stay wild. – We’ll see ya on the next dive. While this is only the beginning of our explorations
on Blue Wilderness, I will always look
back on this adventure as the one that truly reshaped
my perspective of the ocean. And more importantly, of sharks. While the lore and
fictions of pop culture have painted them as menacing
monsters of the deep, the reality is they
are highly intelligent and inquisitive creatures. Rightfully deserving to be
respected, but above all, cherished for what
they truly are. Survivors of time,
ancient relics of an abyss that is millions upon
millions of years old. In many ways, they
have already discovered the secrets of the ocean. Our goal is to learn from them. And with any luck, uncover some of its mysteries for ourselves. (dramatic music) Oh, see that right there? Hammerhead.
– Oh, yeah. – [Mark] 100% there’s a
hammerhead down there. The hammerhead is here, guys. (dramatic music) We’ve like to extend an
extra special thank you to Jonathan Bird and the crew
aboard the Dolphin Dream. You can check out some of
Jonathan’s other adventures on his YouTube
channel, Blue World TV. And in case you missed
it, make sure to go back and watch part one of our
tiger shark expedition. And don’t forget to subscribe
to join me and the crew on future episodes
of Blue Wilderness. (animals roaring and
howling, birds chirping)

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