Shark free diving is a popular activity amongst backpackers and gap year travellers around the world. It's no wonder this activity is so popular, as you plunge into the depths of the water a stunning array of wildlife and coral take your breath away... Our keen adventure enthusiast, Kelly, has enjoyed doing exciting activities and has been working through her bucket list crossing things off as she goes. In this post she shares her tips and advice on booking a shark free diving experience, read on to find out more.
1. Where and when did you do shark free diving?
In May 2012 I decided to have a go at shark diving at Chester Sea World Aquarium. It was something that I've always wanted to do and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity.
2. How did you plan your experience?
Planning the shark free diving experience was easy as I used the internet to find a suitable location near me. There were lots of informative articles online that were readily available full of tips and advice. This way I could find out beforehand what equipment I would need to take with me and prepare myself for what would happen on the day.
3. If you needed any equipment did you own or hire it?
All the equipment that I needed was hired from the site because it needs to be specially checked for safety purposes before I could partake in the activity.
4. How did you feel before you began? Were you nervous?
I was very excited when I first arrived at the site, as this was something that I could finally cross off my bucket list! However the nerves began to kick in once I was shown to the shark tank, although I think the most nervous person on site was my mum! She was my spectator who was taking pictures for me.
5. Did you have any special instructions to follow?
Firstly, we had to watch a safety video that showed us lots of important information and then we had to complete a quiz on it to show that we had listened. We had to pass the quiz before we were allowed to get into the test dive pool.
Once in the test pool, we were then given a further series of activities that we had to complete prior to being allowed in with the sharks and various fish. Once of the main things we were instructed on was that we should not reach out and touch any of the fish (although it was quite tempting when the fish kept trying to nibble me!).
6. How did the experience make you feel?
Amazing! It was by far the best thing I have ever done in my life! I absolutely loved the whole experience and I am really glad that I booked it. What made it even more special was that as it was done for my 21st birthday, my mum and younger brother there with me to watch and take pictures of the dive.
7. Has doing this activity given you a thirst for further adventure?
I already had a thirst for adventure before taking part in this activity, although I have started to look into doing a specialist diving course so that I can swim with sharks in the ocean.
8. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about doing shark free diving?
I would recommend researching the establishment before taking part and making sure that they have a good reputation. Being fit and healthy enough to take part alongside being comfortable underwater and a strong swimmer definitely helps too. Panicking is common although it's important to try and relax as much as possible to fully enjoy the experience.
If this has inspired you to arrange your own underwater experience, especially abroad, make sure you have a good level of shark diving travel insurance for your trip. Make sure that you also have the correct activity pack attached to your policy.
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