Care to swim with sharks on your all inclusive Bahamas vacation? While the sight of a dorsal fin approaching you in the ocean would normally make your skin crawl, to see sharks in their environment beneath the waves makes you realize how extraordinarily graceful these creatures are, and how fit they are to their environment. Some dozen dive operators in the Bahamas offer special shark dives for the intrepid (but actually in thousands of dives there has never yet been a shark attack). Unexso dive operators on Grand Bahama take you down fifty feet to the sandy bottom, accompanied by armed guards. Divers line up kneeling, with their arms tucked in (since stray hands resemble fish, they should be held close to the body). A feeder comes out, armored in chain mail and lumbering like some zombie; and the sharks respond immediately. Six- to nine-foot-long Caribbean reef sharks begin circling the feeder waiting for food, sometimes nuzzling him impatiently in the chest. The feeder grabs them and hugs them – the scene is actually rather tender.

The shark dive at Walker’s Cay, near all inclusive beach resorts in the Abaco Islands gives you an education in sharkology along with your dive. Sharks ride on three fins set symmetrically 120° around their bodies. Sharks’ teeth are on a conveyor belt: new teeth roll out as old ones break off. Sharks’ womb sacs contain hundreds of eggs, many of which don’t develop, so those which do eat the undeveloped eggs while still in the womb. Moreover sharks are intelligent, demonstrating communication skills with other sharks and long-term memory (such as remembering after six months which colored button they should nose in order to obtain food).

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