Our Best Dives Ever: Tiger Shark at North Star

In this series of posts, each member of the crew recalls some of their best dives they've ever experienced. This particular story comes from Anne—Dive Instructor, marine blogger, and underwater video extraordinaire! Enjoy!


North Star, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
October 17th, 2002


I decided the evening before that I was going to dive North Star at dawn the morning. A friend had stopped by the house that evening and told us the he found a Manta Ray while diving that was stuck in some fishing line at North Star. He attempted to cut it lose but was concerned about how weak the manta appeared, and wasn’t sure if it was going to survive. North Star is an amazing wall dive on the north shore of St. Croix, where the wall starts in about 25 feet of water and drops down several thousand feet. We wanted to get in the water as early as possible, thinking that if the manta hadn’t survived, it might bring in some bigger predators to check it out. We got in the water, swam out to the wall and dropped down over the wall. Visibility was amazing and there was tons of marine life to look at.

North Star Beach, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

North Star Beach, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

After a while, this big shark started circling us. It wouldn’t come close so we couldn’t quite make out what kind of shark it was. It would swim below us along the wall and then circle back up along the shallow top. I was beyond excited because up until this point I’d mainly seen nurse sharks and maybe one or two reef sharks. And now finally a big one!

We made our way back to the top of the wall to slowly make our way back to where we started and there it was—the manta ray! Unfortunately, it indeed hadn’t survived and was at this moment this big sharks breakfast. It had just taken a huge bite out of it as the pieces were still floating around in the water. I don’t think that the shark was very happy with us interfering with its breakfast and it started circling us closer and closer and eventually swam in between us and that’s when I realized what kind of shark it was. A big tiger shark!!! What a sight, it came by so close. I was in a state of pure happiness to be in the water with this big animal until I came to my senses and realized that it might be a good idea to remove myself from this big tiger’s breakfast plate, and let him eat in peace.

Tiger Shark

Tiger Shark

We started swimming back to shore and it wasn’t until I got near the shoreline that I realized what just happened. That was a tiger shark! A big one! And it was feeding! And we were sitting on his breakfast plate! That was crazy!!! The shark didn’t follow us, though. It had more interest in continuing its breakfast, and we got out of the water safely with a great story to tell. I’ll never forget that dive—what an adventure!


- Anne

 

Stay tuned to hear more dive stories from the entire Kyalami crew!

Anne Hill