Conquering Our Fears and Swimming with the Sharks and Sting Rays!!

When you are young, your parents tell you to avoid dangerous situations.  Yet, here we were embarking on an excursion to SWIM with sharks and sting rays in the lagoon of Bora Bora!  What we were thinking???

After heading out from our hotel, we were immediately taken to an area of the lagoon where black tip reef sharks are known to hang out.  Some of our fears were doused when the guide said to stay behind the safety line he would set up, as we figured we would be behind a net or cage from the sharks.  One guide hopped into the water with a bucket of food and started slapping the food on the water and throwing it around himself while the other guide set up the safety line.  The sting rays approached first and nearly jumped on our guide trying to reach the bucket.  Then, came the sharks…gobbling up the food that had been thrown into the water with amazing speed and ferocity.

Bora Bora - Guide Feeding Sting Rays

While this was exciting to watch from the safety of our boat, it was not what we came here for.  So, it was with great excitement…and quite a bit of apprehension that we entered the shark infested waters in the lagoon of Bora Bora!

Bora Bora - Sting Ray

Bora Bora - Shark







Once in the water, we realized that the “safety” line was only a rope!  The “safety” aspect was not to keep the sharks out, but for us to hold on to while we watched (so we wouldn’t drown).  The sharks were swimming right by us, along with some sting rays.  Despite the rope being useless as a protection from the sharks, we felt comfort in it being between us and where the sharks were swimming.  In our minds, somehow the sharks knew not to cross the “safety” line.

Bora Bora - Tracy safety rope and shark

Bora Bora - Evan Safety Rope and Sting Ray







Just when we were getting comfortable with the whole experience, our guides told us to swim over the rope and go “swim” amongst the sharks!!  Are you crazy???  We had enough trouble having the guts to get in the water!  But sure enough over the rope we went to swim around with the sharks.  Once you get comfortable out there, it is an amazing experience to swim amongst them.  They are such majestic creatures, as they cut through the water circling around you.  (Never thought we would say it was cool to have sharks circling around us!)

Bora Bora - Shark








Bora Bora - Tracy beyond the Rope and Shark

No Rope!

Just as we finished overcoming that fear, they moved us along to another spot in the Bora Bora lagoon where there are many sting rays.  Having survived the sharks, we now felt invincible and the sting rays would be nothing!  We quickly hopped into the water and swam with these magnificent creatures.  Sting rays are very personable creatures, and they actually enjoy coming right up to and even rubbing against you.  It almost feels like they are caressing you with their velvet soft fins.  We definitely got an up close and personal look at the Sting Rays!!

Bora Bora - Friendly Sting Rays

Bora Bora - Sting Ray Up Close







Again it was a nerve-racking experience for a different reason, but it was well worth it.

At the end of it all, we may have had some moments of great fear, but we were so grateful for the opportunity to be able to see these creatures up close in their natural environment!!  It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and the memories will stay with us forever.

Have you swam with the sharks or sting rays or participated in any other animal encounters?  Let us know in the comments below.



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