You Can Dive with Sharks Right Off the SouthCoast
Do you have what it takes to go eye-to-eye with a mako shark?
I'm not going to lie, I could never imagine climbing into a cage and purposefully going out of my way to find and encounter sharks in the ocean. For many, however, it is a thrill and a chance to get up close and personal with nature.
Bob Mercer, the owner of Bob's Sea and Ski, says that the media has given sharks a bad rap.
"A lot of people are scared to death about sharks, but we say, 'if you can't beat them, join them," said Mercer, who brings people out on the shark excursions.
Incredibly, Mercer says that no experience whatsoever is necessary. You don't even need to be a scuba diver to experience the shark encounter. All you need is a mask, fins, and a snorkel, and you are off and running.
How do they lure the sharks close to the boat you ask? Chum, of course. They'll throw chum into the water to draw the sharks in. Then, guests take turns being lowered down in a cage to come within a foot or two of mako, blue or thresher sharks.
"You can even come out of the cage and free swim, believe it or not," says Mercer. "The sharks aren't interested in you, they are interested in the food source. You wouldn't want to try that with great whites, though."
For my money, I'd be content staying right on the charter boat.
Bob's Sea and Ski teams up with Snappa Charters for the excusions. They'll run out about 25 miles off of the coast of Narragansett, Rhode Island, just off of Block Island.
"Sometimes we get lucky and even see some dolphins, porpoises, mahi-mahi and whales," says Mercer.
For safety reasons, the shark cage excursions are limited to people 12 and over.