Nestled in a rocky outcropping in roughly 65 feet of water, we stared out into the distance hoping to see the shadowy figures turn toward us. No doubt about it, those shadows were the faint outlines of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks. They were cruising along the edge of visibility about 100 feet away.
Over the years, I have spent a lot of time diving Coco Island in the Pacific waters off Costa Rica. Experience has taught me that when the current is running toward us our opportunity for a close encounter is very good. During previous trips, I had found myself in the middle of schools of several hundred Hammerheads.
It is truly a staggering sight. It seems only natural to think you would feel some fear, but odds are you won't. The scene is humbling, awe inspiring and unforgettable, but it is not frightening. On a number of occasions I have watched from a few feet away as the sharks were cleaned by King Angelfish, Barberfish and Hogfish. I was hoping for more of the same.