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Hammerhead Hunting

NICARAGUA | Sunday, 28 June 2009 | Views [1223]

Furry friends and fidgety foes

After a few bumpy bus rides; being pretty much sexually harassed by the bus boy at 3 in the morning whilst trying to get some shut-eye; followed by an early morning boat which successfully converted my hair into windswept and horribly tangled dreadlocks, Stephanie and I arrived in Bluefields. We met a lovely local who helped us with everything and won us over with his huge kind smile. He became our Bluefields guide and information centre. After dinner we decided to have a ''nap'' to recharge for the night ahead. Always a mistake. I woke up to realise it was now 2 a.m. and probably too late to hit the town. Oops. That was Bluefields.

The next day we took a boat which ran through the night to 'Little Corn' and found our cute beach hut to sleep in along with a Canadian girl Emily who we met on the boat. Little did we know we were not alone in our little hut. Just before bedtime Emily discovered a mother cat with all five kittens under the bed. Wonderful... to be honest I didn't mind this feline presence but Emily wasn't best pleased. After safely re-locating the furry family I was awoken in the middle of the night to  a loud bang and low and behold by the next morning our cuddly friends had returned. We decided it was a battle we would not win and so they stayed.

Our other room-mates included several land crabs scurrying loudly across the floorboards at night - just to scare the *!@* out of me - and unfortunately my old friends: bed bugs. After a few nights we switched rooms and got rid of the bothersome bugs. (The land crabs still continued to make me jump every night with their scurring ways but I could deal with that.)

"He that can have Patience, can have what he will

The actual island was a dream. Waking up pretty much on the beach couldn't be anything short of wonderful for me...but it was the underwater life that won me over. For many years I have longed to swim amongst Hammerhead sharks and when I heard that they frequent the little corn waters I booked myself on the dive. We spent the first 20 minutes doing nothing but wait. Wait. Look. And hope. I squinted so hard in my search that I'm sure I began to see creatures that didn't actually exist. All of a sudden my wish was granted and it appeared. Sleak, cool and beautiful. I was so happy ... I watched intently until he disappeared and then 2 more arrived. I was the happiest person alive for those few moments. I watched the sharks move like slalem skiers in slow motion as they elegantly passed us by and even came close to have a look at us. One turned on his side to bear his stomach to us all. I'm not sure what he was trying to say... I wonder what they make of us scuba divers with our big tanks and clown-like fins...

Some other creatures I bumped into on the island included nurse sharks and eagle rays... We saw the eagle rays as we were emerging from some under-water tunnels - it was as if they had been there waiting for us. They are stunning creatures. One nurse shark swam right up to me and smiled for the camera which pretty much made that dive for me :)

 Speaking of cameras, before my hammerhead dive I was so excited that I may finally be seeing them and knew I would want some great photographic evidence. So I cleaned the lens, cleared the memory card and fully charged one of my batteries. 

As we entered the water and I switched the camera on my stomach turned. I had somehow managed to load it with the fully flat battery. I mentally kicked myself in the head the moment I realised and decided that the photos in my head would suffice should we see the wonderful sharks...of course as I didn't have a working camera it was a dead cert that we would see them. I therefore take the credit for our group seeing hammerheads. And I was lucky enough to do a second dive and see an even bigger one - with a fully-functional camera! The end. 



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