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Updated: 03/13/2014 02:59:31PM

Shark!

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diving delight • walter w. wilt

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A lot of people ask me if I’m afraid of sharks after they find out I dive. Well, people are afraid of things they don’t understand. Once we start to understand them, the fear begins to disappear. Divers are no braver than non-divers. When I first learned to dive, I was afraid of sharks.

I remember very clearly the instant I lost that fear. It was the summer of 1984 and I had made about 10 to 15 dives. Except for visits to aquariums, I’d never seen a shark. A group of 25 of us were diving in the Bahamas from the 60-foot long live-aboard dive charter, Impossible Dream. On this particular afternoon, none of us were diving because we were all maxed out on the tables — that means we had to stay on the surface for several hours until we off-gassed the nitrogen that had absorbed into our bodies during our earlier dives.

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