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August 03, 2019

Hi! Melissa here, from the TropicSport team,

One thing that brings all of us together at TropicSport is our love for the ocean. While many of us express that love through surfing, one of us in particular expresses it by completely entering the underwater world through scuba diving. Psst – that’s me, Melissa.

You may already know that this week is Shark Week, a week coined by Discovery Channel that’s been around since 1988. In honor of Shark Week and my spirit animal, sharks, it seemed like the perfect time for me to share an amazing experience I had last year with this apex predator.

Yes, that’s right. I went scuba diving with bull sharks, ladies and gents.

And I did it willingly. I probably can’t say the same for my husband, but “happy wife, happy life,” right? This was one of the best experiences of my life... outside of getting married, of course. 


So here’s the story:

Last year, I got married. Now, that was amazing, but the part that you’re probably more interested in is what happened after the wedding.

On our honeymoon in Fiji, my husband and I dove with about 35 of the MOST DANGEROUS SHARKS IN THE WORLD!!

Fiji is one of the only places in the world where you can dive with bull sharks and tiger sharks outside of a cage. For those of you who aren’t keen on shark and scuba lingo, a shark cage is the big metal thing you SHOULD get into when you jump into shark infested waters. Native Fijians, however, have myths and stories dating back thousands of years about how they've befriended the sharks. They even have their own Shark God, Dakuwaqa, who is known to protect the divers and fishermen at sea in this area.

To respect their bond with sharks and Dakuwaqa, Fijians have developed The Shark Marine Reserve – a protected sanctuary for sharks – where local communities have agreed to refrain from fishing in order to preserve the natural ecosystem. This reserve is where my amazing shark experience took place; 90 feet below the surface in a sandy “arena” where divers are only separated from the sharks by a 2-foot coral wall.

In a moment between breaths (breathing underwater is actually quite loud) I caught the sound of a very loud CHOMP as one of sharks swooped in and ate a tuna head out of a dive master’s hand. Out. Of. His. Hand. For the duration of the dive, myself and the other divers watched in amazement as these giant creatures swam so effortlessly in front of us. They were huge, powerful, and absolutely beautiful.

At the end of the dive, we came up to the shallows to do our safety stop at the edge of a beautiful, untouched, and very healthy coral reef. Amongst the healthy coral and bright colored fish, were a number of white tip, black tip, and grey reef sharks.

Many people do not realize the important role that sharks play in our ocean ecosystem, especially the reef ecosystem.Scientists refer to sharks as the “keystone” species because eliminating them would mean catastrophic collapse of the rest of the food chain and ecosystem. Sharks, being at the top of the food chain, maintain a healthy balance of all species in the ocean by regulating population and eliminating the weak and unhealthy fish. 

On the other end, reefs are crucial to this ecosystem as well. Being the bottom of the food chain, they provide the base for all ocean life. It’s just as important to protect our reefs as it is our sharks. Not to mention all the harsh chemicals the marine life ingests. 

The bottom line is, we need the sharks and the reefs. 

That’s why TropicSport is dedicated to providing non-toxic, reef-friendly and eco-friendly products. We understand that when you go in the water, your skin needs just as much protection as the reefs do.

For those of you who still might not believe me, here is proof I actually did it!

Melissa Bigknife
Melissa Bigknife

3 Responses

Judith Lamb
Judith Lamb

August 09, 2019

Please don’t patronize establishments that feed wildlife. If sharks are fed, they associate humans with food which is not a good thing. On one of my dive trips in the British Virgin Islands, I dove in a spot where parrot fish are typically fed. Well, I don’t believe in feeding wildlife so I went in without any food. The parrot fish came up to me biting my fingers expecting food. I felt their sharp teeth through my diving gloves. I had to leave the water because I was concerned I might be bleeding and I did not want to attract sharks.
Judith Lamb, PADI Advanced Open Water Certification


August 09, 2019

I guess I can understand your excitement though I’m pretty sure it would be hard for me to choose excitement over fear!! Shark week it is for sure!!! North east – Cape Cod I think, Florida, and Santa Cruz Ca are all experiencing unusually high numbers of great whites in close to shore-felt to be due to the warmer water temps! YIKES


August 09, 2019

Pretty scary and because it was scary I guess I can stretch my thinking to say – ot must have

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