Ok, this is not difficult, and maybe not too smart, but definitely a little exciting. I know I push it a little bit. Slowly moving closer and closer. The nurse sharks doze in the days at the bottom and are easy to approach. But it is a shark and has both sharp teeth and incredible speed so a little caution is advised. In my mind I figure that if it attacks it will probably go for the camera or flashes first and then hopefully take off before I will get bit. I have a few bite marks in my gear from earlier. Right now I am in Antigua and gliding slowly over the bottom at about 40 feet of depth. From this distance I see only the tail fin and dorsal sticking up from the reef. Getting closer I see it is lying on a small sand patch with its head into a small crack in the reef. I am trying to get as close as possible. I have a macro lens mounted so I am quickly closer than getting the whole animal in the frame. The only interesting part for macro from this angle is the eye and this sounds like a great idea in my head.
Can you imagine how this must feel from the shark’s point of view? This giant Scandinavian, blonde hair, sunburned creature trying to zoom in on your eye and fire huge strobes while you are trying to take a nap? Must be one of those moments they discuss in shark meetings.
They all behave different but I guess this one just gave up and probably did not find me threatening in any way, because it let me get really close. This last shot is taken about three inches from the shark’s eye. And I want to add one little detail. The weather was so bad that it was still waves moving us back and fourth even at 40 feet. I was holding on to a rock with one hand trying not to crash into the poor thing while trying to get focus on the eye. I started to feel bad about intruding and moved away. Situations like this have a limit and can change very fast, so I felt like ending the session. Looking at the pictures this close is special. The skin of the shark looks like mosaic. Don’t know if you have ever touched one but it’s skin is rough like sand paper and consist of thousand of small teeth. Ok, I guess I have been closer.