We are slap bang in the middle of “Raggie” season. This year has been a slow start, but the docile puppy-dogs seem to be arriving at a slow pace. Recently I ended a dive at North Sands where we were pleasantly surprised to run into a group of Ragged Tooth Sharks. Whilst hovering in mid-water I was excited to count fifteen sharks in one spot. As we moved along the sands more and more sharks kept on appearing out of the awesome blue. Raggies can now be spotted all over the reef. I have seen them at their usual hang outs, Cathedral and the very popular Raggies Cave. But I have also seen them in some unsuspecting places like as far south as Tiger Cave on Eel Skins and quite a few on the Inside Edge.
The Raggies are not the only sharks that we have been seen on the Aliwal Shoal. A group of divers saw a small school of Hammerheads swim over the top of False Cathedral. Often Oceanic Blacktips are seen on the Inside Edge; or even circling the divers on a safety stop from one of our wrecks, the Produce or Nebo.
Whitetip Reef Sharks are always a pleasure to see, although they are not as easy to spot as our toothy friends but are still not uncommon on the reef. If you are looking for a Guitarfish I would suggest a dive at Eel Skins. I have often seen the Greyspot Guitarfish in this area. And I have been lucky enough to see a group of Great Guitarfish around South Sands. Lately on our Baited Dives we have not only been joined by the Oceanic Blacktips but it is also a regular occurrence to be joined by two or three Dusky Sharks. The Dusky Sharks that we see look very similar to the Blacktips but can be identified by a rounder snout. I saw my first Bronze Whaler (or Copper Shark) on a recent Baited Dive. This shark also looked similar to the Blacktips, but it was the bigger tail fin that gave it away. We can’t forget the Mike Tyson of sharks, The Bull Shark or Zambezi. Last time I saw this shark it swam by our bottom drum, it has also been seen around Shark Alley on the reef. Diving with Tiger Sharks will always be an experience to cherish. We are out of season for these big sharks, they prefer warmer waters. And finally there is the shark that I want to see. The Great White Shark. I know one person who has been diving the shoal for thirteen years and encountered a white eight times; and another person who has been diving the shoal for ten years who has never seen a white. I can only imagine what it must be like to be in the presence of a white. I look forward to that day.