A shark, two sharks, three sharks ...

  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

In the remote archipelago of Komodo, Indonesia, there is a dive site with the beautiful name Castle Rock. Its particularity? Sharks love to hang around there... I even made a little video of it.

Diving in Castle Rock

For divers, this is THE site not to be missed, when you make the long trip to Komodo. Castle Rock - also called Takat Toko - is a pinnacle in the middle of the sea, whose summit is about 7-8 meters deep. In addition to the abundant underwater fauna that gravitates around, there is a good chance of seeing sharks in high doses.

When I get into the water, with Jerome, the dive guide of Pascha, I do not doubt yet the profusion of sharks that turns there ... We go down quickly in the area of 20-25 meters. You do not even have to look for them. They are there.

One shark, two sharks, three sharks... I can't count 'em. They're everywhere!

Here is the ballet of the castle rock sharks, video. I played a one-minute sequence, which gives a good idea of the atmosphere below the surface.

Many white tip sharks (coral sharks), but also some grey reef sharks. And some good-sized specimens... I am absolutely fascinated. Amazed, again.

I am often asked if I am not afraid of sharks. But no. Really.

Never before have I been confronted with aggressive behavior on their part. Bottle releases by scuba divers have the tendency to scare them more than to attract them. As soon as they spot us, the sharks prefer to slightly deviate their trajectory and swim a little further offshore.

At Castle Rock, they pass and repass in the blue, propelled in suppleness by the lateral movement of their tail, indifferent to the furious current which whips the falling. Curiously, it is not seen too much in the image, the violence of the current.

My little video editing on the contrary gives off a very serene impression, I think. It's amazing.

Why I started to crochet

Because if the sharks are swimming effortlessly, patrolling quietly along the reef, for me it's a different matter. For the first time in my diving life, I'm using this trick:

Hook to dock under water in case of power.

Yeah, a hook. Not to scare the sharks, huh. They don't give a damn about me! But to tie me to a piece of dead coral and avoid drifting away like a straw hawk in an underwater squall. This one stretches the string of our bubbles along a trajectory that's a bit too horizontal for my taste - when it doesn't suddenly make them whirl around.

I fastened the carabiner to the ring of the left strap of my stab (the stabilizing vest, in the jargon of divers). The ring on the right is already occupied by another carabiner, the one that secures the fastening of my waterproof case containing the camera, which also makes video (the Canon Eos 7D).

Violent currents

I'm not used to being hooked up on a wire to float like a small flag in the underwater wind. Being restrained on one side unbalances me. I should have tinkered a system to be able to fix the carabiner well in the center of my paraphernalia.

Fortunately, Jerome maintains a firm grip. Here I am stabilized. Secure. And I manage to make some images that do not shake too much.

Ah, what a luxury to have a guardian angel all to oneself... I exult behind my mask, too happy that there are only two of us, and not a whole palanque!

For other dives, I will regularly go out the hook. I ended up adopting it. It has become indispensable to me to be able to make images in the waters of Komodo, crossed by currents often capricious and irresistible.


  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Impressive!

    Like David, I find the video beautiful.

    Moi, j’aurais quand même un peu la trouille sans pour autant m’arrêter….appellons ça de l’adrénaline 😉

  2. @David: Thank you. "Fascinating" is the word!

    @Guillaume: I chose the music, so ...

    @Alex: In fact, we are not scared at all under the water. We just have wide eyes behind the mask, so the show is amazing. Sharks, they tend to deviate a little, it's us who scare them.

    @Ysbilia: Sharks suffer from a bad reputation, it's a shame, they are beautiful and fascinating animals to observe ... In this area, they do not represent any particular danger. there is no feeding, to my knowledge, that would change their behavior and make them aggressive. That said, we can not be the friend of all animals ... I do not like spiders or scorpions, which have a very bad reputation too, but because they are much less beautiful than sharks !!!

    @Annabel: As you say.

  3. Superb video, which gives a pretty soft impression of the strength of the current. I'm on my way to go diving in Sipadan and other spots in Indonesia ... Thank you for the quality of the images and texts that accompany them. Good bubbles!

  4. It's nice Komodo, will have to go soak my palms.
    For the hook, I discovered this accessory in the Maldives. It's almost essential in the passes when you settle in the "corner" to observe the sharks. It frees the hands and preserves the coral.
    Maintenant j’en ai toujours un sur moi okazou 😀

  5. @Remi: Indeed. I was rather surprised at the rendering of the video. We do not realize at all the violence of the current ... It's because sharks, they are perfectly at ease in, no doubt!

    @Alimata: Tellement sympa, que j’envisage bien d’y retourner un jour prochain… De la plongée top niveau, vraiment !!! Le filin de ton crochet m’impressionne : il est super long, non ? Est-ce un crochet bien réglementaire, ça ? 😉 En tout cas, moi c’est pareil : jamais plus sans mon crochet, ocazou…

  6. Tu n’es pas la seule a être impressionnée par la longueur de mon outils 😆
    Je ne sais s’il est bien réglementaire, mais il m’a toujours permis de m’élever au dessus des autres, de prendre du re-cul dans les passes trop fréquentées et pour les sites délicats, j’ai toujours la possibilité de le réduire facilement pour profiter pleinement de l’endroit mis à ma disposition et ne pas gêner le biotope qui m’accueille 😀 😆 ➡

    1. @Julien: je n’ai pas eu cette chance non plus, mais j’ai été tout de même bien impressionnée par la profusion de requins. Merci ! 🙂

  7. Hello Corinne,

    Vous visitez régulièrement l’Indonésie et Komodo parait être un endroit exceptionnel. 😀

    From your many trips to Indonesia, it seems to me that you have not returned to Komodo. Is Sulawesia and Raja better diving spots?


    1. @Sletter: je ne suis pas encore retournée à Komodo, mais je compte bien le faire… Raja Ampat est selon moi un cran au-dessus de Komodo et a l’avantage de pouvoir se faire sans croisière. Sulawesi est sympa et facile d’accès et moins cher. J’envisage de retourner plonger à Komodo, mais en étant basée à terre, peut-être, sur un île pas trop loin des sites… Peut-être cet été 2016 ?… À suivre 😉