Great White Sharks & submarines

Great White Sharks & submarines

Spent time off Mexico recently as part of my training in our Virgin Oceanic mini-submarine, diving with Great White Sharks.

There are not a lot of them but the ones you see are huge, 20 feet or more, larger than the submarine. I had my first Virgin Oceanic dives training. The sub handled beautifully, straight down smoothly, straight up 100 feet, bursting through the surface of the water.

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Next day we went in search of Great White Sharks. Beautiful, clear, pristine waters. Gently lowered in water covered in shark repellent. Had to manage the sub into the water then down, down, down waiting for the Great White Sharks to come out of the shadows.

Suddenly the biggest set of teeth were only feet away from me. Well f**k I shouted! Before realising the teeth were a reflection of my own in the glass dome around us. Great Whites indeed!

Schools of beautiful fish surrounded us, then suddenly the real thing in all its majesty serenely swimming alongside us. The Great White Shark was close enough to lean out and touch if we were not safely ensconced in the sub.

Graham Hawkes, the genius behind the submarine, was shouting like an excited schoolboy and so was I. The Great White stayed for three minutes, banking as we banked, turning as we turned, so awesomely beautiful. Its backside was slightly damaged, almost definitely from a rough mating ritual. Sharks grab their partners with their teeth - and, for those of you who are interested - they actually have two penises!

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We had came to find the Great White Shark, and we had found it. This was the first time a mini-sub had ever had the chance to fly with a Great White. What a privilege it was.

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