“This tank is approximately 900,000 liters, and we keep it around 23 degrees.”
She smiled at me, then handed over a wet suit, booties, a snorkel and a mask.
“How many, uh, sharks? I mean, how many are in the tank?”
“We have two sand tigers, two Atlantic brown sharks, two black tips, and a grey reef and a nurse shark. Oh, and a bow mouth. Even though it looks like a shark, it’s technically considered to be a ray, like a stingray.” She pointed to it; it could have fooled me.
As I stared out into the water, I noticed a rectangular cage that looked roughly the dimensions of a four-door car, and was made of loosely braided nylon rope lashed to a transparent plastic bottom. Looking beyond it, I quickly became transfixed by the dozen or so toothy brutes gliding through the blue, cruising around in vaguely ominous circles.
“Has anyone, you know, freaked out? Like they just couldn’t handle it?”
“Well, we’ve had a few people that get a bit scared. But if they’re with other people, then usually they get over it by the end of the session. A few times we’ve had people who are going through some sort of immersion therapy, who are gradually exposing themselves to sharks to get over their fear of them.”