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You've seen Shark Week. Jaws gave you nightmares. Maybe you sympathized with sharp-toothed fish after seeing Sharkwater. So, are sharks horror-movie killers or misunderstood creatures? Find out for yourself by jumping in the water with them. To get up close and personal, you need bait (they prefer fish over humans), scuba gear and a guide with experience.


No one has as much experience as Stuart Cove in Nassau in the Bahamas. Since 1985, the operator has guided more than three quarters of a million divers and snorkellers on his world-famous shark interactions. After gearing up, he takes you down to a sandy bottom 10 metres below the surface where you kneel in a large semi-circle. Then a dive guide, resembling a knight in a chain-mail suit, descends to the seafloor with a metal box full of fish parts. Immediately, the sharks swarm in, attracted by the scent of blood, and the feeding frenzy begins. The guide controls the mayhem by using a spear to reach into the box, passing up fish chunks one by one to the 40 to 50 Caribbean reef sharks. The sharks buzz over your head inches in front of your mask, dart directly at you, and may even bump into you.


Those who want to feel like they're no longer at the top of the food chain.

Special to The Globe and Mail