A Shark's Tale
March 2010

by Natalie Novak

A few weeks ago I was diving in Akumal Bay with Ron, Sue and their kids. They were not Open Water Certified, so they were taking a resort course. Some of them had done this course before, but for one of the kids this was their first dive. And what a dive!

We found this nurse shark just after we finished our descent in less than 30 feet of water. When we reached the reef and started swimming together, the first thing I saw was the nurse shark's tail sticking out from under a coral head. Nurse sharks often sleep in the day and hunt at night. Unlike most other sharks, they can breathe while sitting still. They remind me of drunk people, the way they seem to stick their head under a rock and sleep through the day.

I am very proud to say that Ron and Sue's family did not disturb this nurse shark when we found it. Although we all got to see the shark, we left it like we found it—sleeping.

Ron had his own camera and had practiced taking photos in the bay before our dive. Thanks to Ron for letting me share his first nurse shark photo.

Natalie's Tip: If you wish to photograph a sleeping nurse shark, approach them slowly so as not to disturb them. Use your zoom instead of getting extra close, and leave ample space for the animal to exit should it wake up.


Dive with Natalie & Ivan