I was due to be in the Red Sea during the first week of May, diving with hopefully a wide range of shark species alongside shark experts. Sadly due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, the trip, while not yet officially cancelled, it looks like it will not be going ahead and we will be deferring our trip until later in the year.
One of my favourite dives ever was at Daedelus reef, also in the Red Sea which would have been high on our list of possible dive sites. A well known location for hammerhead sharks, our group dropped into the water and carefully descended to between 20 and 30 metres, staying 'in the blue' and away from the reef, keeping our eyes open in every direction.
I was diving with our friends Mel and Dave in a group of three, they now live in Australia where shark diving is readily available. On this day we were eagerly anticipating getting our eyes on some big apex predators but sadly, after quite a wait, there were no sharks to be seen and all of the other groups had left and departed. The three of us weren't to be deterred though, and held on just that little bit longer.
Out from the reef wall came that unmistakeable shape
Our patience was rewarded. Out from the reef wall came that unmistakeable shape. A single solitary great hammerhead shark swam straight towards us, and then just before it got to us turned and swam away. My only regret was that in the excitement I only managed to snap a single reference shot from my camera, in part because I didn't realise it would disappear as quickly as it arrived. Still, it was enough for bragging rights back on the boat!
Personal encounters with marine life are one of the many reasons we love to scuba dive. That one, and many others have stuck in my mind over the years, and while sat here in lockdown my mind yearns to be back out there, seeing everything our underwater world has to offer. One day, sometime soon, it will be so.
In the meantime, I noticed a few days ago that PADI posted a great video by an artist who explains how to draw a hammerhead shark. In these times when we have an abundance of time, it's got to be worth a go?