Friday, 26 October 2018


I have just written a piece about sunken treasure in the waters off that island paradise called the Seychelles.
Then a couple of days ago, on the news, there is a report of man who was snorkeling just twenty meters from the beach being taken by a shark, and there is another report of a French tourist being taken just two weeks prior to this latest incident.
A belated word of warning , if you go looking for that treasure…BEWARE OF THE SHARKS.
I spent a lot of time swimming offshore in the Seychelles and often got a scare when a clump of seaweed on the ocean floor some twenty /thirty feet down, would seem to move. It does put one off a little.
All of the diving instructors that I worked with assured me that the sharks were not a problem, one or two hammerheads, well out at sea, but nothing in the bays.
I do not for a moment think they were lying but maybe they should have a re-think and install some nets on the popular beaches. It would be a great shame but it keeps the tourist trade happy. No one wants to go on holiday and finish up as shark shit.
No one can blame the sharks. It is their environment and they are hungry, humans are just a snack to them.
Humans do not move too well in the water, no matter how graceful we think our freestyle crawl is. The hungry shark sees a slow moving target with few signs of danger, in it goes.
I often think sharks have no taste buds because most of their human targets must taste of polystyrene or latex rubber, but it must be worth it , humans do not put up much of a struggle after the first hit and then its easy to consume.
I must admit that I am a pool person after seeing “Jaws”. The only way I want to go underwater these days is in a submarine, preferably a nuclear one.
The most vivid example I have seen of the capacity of sharks to consume huge chunks of matter was on Norfolk Island. Another island paradise, this one in the Pacific , but a paradise for entirely different reasons.
Not many beach umbrellas and sandy floored bars there, mainly because there is only a tiny beach and the shark population residing just offshore puts off any swimming adventures. Not that we knew that when my crew went for a swim when we filmed there.
I won’t do a tourist brochure thing here, you can Google the place, but it is a small rocky Island about 1000 miles out in the ocean from mainland OZ, the most direct route is from Sydney.
It was at one time a notorious penal colony, anyone of the bad lads sentenced to go there never left, that was it.
At a certain time of the day, when the sun is very low the outline of a circular prison compound is revealed. The prisoners were kept in underground cages that formed a huge circle. Nice place
Today the Island attracts what would at one time been considered a Hippy crowd, easy come, easy go, and they have developed their own tourist industry. Well worth a visit.
When I was there we filmed the islands refuse department, yes they do have one, with a very smart truck. They collect the garbage from all of the little settlements in the hills and take it to the refuse tip. In this case, the Pacific Ocean
Yep, they actually tip all of the assorted rubbish into the sea. The tipping place is high on a cliff , about thirty metres above the water, the truck tips up and all of the white, council provided, rubbish sacks drop into the sea, slowly fill with water and then begin to sink.
I was naturally outraged at this appalling pollution of one of the worlds most beautiful areas, and voiced my opinion.
The Foreman Refuse Collector calmed my fears…’Just watch this mate” he said ”this stuff never reaches the ocean floor”
He was right.. As the sacks descended through the clear water, large dark shapes approached at lightning speed and ate them, yep, these critters would take a full sack of rubbish, tins, bottles, garbage, all in one bite…There were hundreds of them.
The Norfolk Island Refuse Disposal Unit, Marine Dept. (TNIRDUMD). Trash snacks a speciality.
That would look good on a T shirt.
Want some advice…never go swimming where you are considered to be the main course for a BIG fishes dinner.

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