I had a six-month contract in Sydney, Australia, and since I always wanted to do scuba diving, I passed my certification there. After getting my Open Water PADI, I flew to New Caledonia, an island north east of Sydney, where my cousin lived. He did a lot a diving and organized a group dive for us in the small reef barrier not far from Phare Amédé.
When we went underwater, there was a lot of current, against which we were swimming. The was as fantastic as a dive in tropical waters can be. I saw turtles, sea snakes, kettle fish, squids, etc.
After a moment, we stopped swimming and let the current push us back towards the boat. I had the rest of the group on my left, including my cousin – my dive-buddy – and on my right was a cliff going down to the depth of the ocean. There was the blue shape of a huge fish a few meters below me, to my right. I moved closer to see it better, away from my cousin. When I looked to my left to keep an eye on the group, right there, at about a meter and a half from me, a huge shark, standing still, parallel to me, was staying between I and my fellow divers.
I knew the shark was looking at me. It let itself drift by the current, just as I did. I wasn’t exactly scared, but I certainly didn’t feel safe. The shark was almost as long as I’m tall (and I’m tall). After a moment, it passed before me, staying at the exact same distance, came to position itself on my right, staying at my level, and kept drifting beside me.
As extraordinary this encounter has was for me, I slowly moved closer to the rest of the group, and was relieved I could do so.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to scuba dive since then, but I’ll always remember this shark that showed curiosity towards me.