rosiebailey (28k image)
**THE FEAR OF SHARKS** can be extreme to some people. A sinking trawler with a terrified skipper who prefered drowning to be eaten by sharks.

The terrified seaman wrote a note to a friend whom he owed $100, included the money with the note and put it in a corked bottle which he threw into the sea, adding there were so many sharks around his boat, ‘he was going down with the sinking vessel, rather than take his chances in the sea that night’.

**Dean Cropp** salvaged this brass port hole from the sunken remains of the prawn trawler in 25 meters, much of it mud or at least silt. As the prawn nets drag across the muddy ocean floor of North Queensland, they stir up the bottom so that about seven meters has very low visibility. Dean groped around in the murk and earned a rather nice prize, a prize which all divers would treasure.

**Was this the same trawler with the terrified skipper?** Maybe. The fear of the unknown is very real. Conquering our personal FOTU is a challenge of the sea we all must face.


As learner to the crystal seas we all wrongly believed sharks would not bother us in shallow water. Today we realize that a shark in shallow water is more of a hazard than in deeper water where there is at least more room to maneuver around each other.

This Tawney/nurse shark will give any learner a big fright but nothing else. It’s good to be able to ID any shark then you can mostly relax. Surprisingly, some dive experts I’ve known are not too bright at getting it correct, even with white pointers, but this was in the old era pre pay TV.

Dorsal fins are an easy ID to memorize. The species pictured above has two dorsal fins nearer the tail, as does a Grey nurse. It’s an easy way to ID both these low hazard level sharks. But beware the twin dorsal belonging to the dreaded LEMON SHARK. A cranky shark at the best of times.