Funny that the only dives I've done outside of my diving certification course have been in Australia. My first two were off the Great Barrier Reef when I first traveled through Queensland in college, though neither was as exciting and terrifying as my latest dive with grey nurses. It definitely wasn't my idea as I hadn't been diving in 8 years. Full of anxiety and a bit panic stricken, I had more nerves about diving again given the time lapse than I did about the sharks. It still takes me a while to get used to the thought of breathing underwater and I was feeling pretty clueless about the equipment and the whole process of preparing to dive (had to put together my equipment when we arrived and it was a bit precarious). After hearing the low rates of attacks with these sharks (a meager 2 deaths in AU), some internal debate, and assurance from our dive coordinator 'Rotten Ronnie' I finally agreed to dive with the guys.
Amazing, exhilarating, surreal! We dived in two locations, Latitude Rock and a place called the Baitgrounds that were teeming with sharks. During the first dive I was just starting to get my bearings when I saw a shark about 6 feet long swim by nonchalantly. Soon after, we were holding on to a wall of coral to prevent from being thrown in the current where there were 4-5 sharks swimming around -- what I've been calling the shark pit. These grey nurses were so chill and kept to themselves, gracefully maneuvering through the current. The second dive produced some more anxiety as we had to swim along the kelp at the bottom of the ocean floor where numerous hefty sharks swam above us, shooting menacing stares now and then but swimming independently above. There's safety in numbers (or so it seems) so it wasn't until I was hanging out soley with my dive buddy that a shark swam 10 feet away from him and I made the executive decision to go back to the boat. There was so much to see underwater -- sea turtle, jellyfish, eagle ray, blue groper but the sharks provided the real rush. The underwater pics are taken from the net but are very similar to the greys we saw.