Swimming with the Sharks, a Mother’s Nightmare

Swimming with the Sharks, a Mother’s Nightmare
July 29, 2009 Lainie Liberti

A beautiful underwater dream, challenging  a mother’s sanity

I am still recovering from our underwater adventure,  which proved to be absolutely amazing! This was Miro’s first snorkeling outing and he was such a natural. Most of the time, I swam behind him giving him enough room to explore the amazing underwater sea life on his own, but always keeping that watchful eye on my baby.

We took a snorkeling tour with Carlos’ Tours, on the island. Our friend Cyndi had snorkeled with him several times in the past and highly recommended him. So at 9:00 am we set out to get fitted for snorkels and fins. Our tour group included a mother and daughter from California, although the daughter was living in New York and a sweet Israeli couple. After our fittings the group headed down to the shore where we bordered the tiny boat. We ended up exploring three locations, the first of which was just off the shore from Caye Caulker and not  too far from the famous diving spot, called the Blue Hole.

Carlos dropping anchor

We all jumped into the waters, and followed Carlos on a path through the beautiful blue jungles. The variety of fish was saw was absolutely mind blowing. Schools of fish swam through us and the colors on others were enough to warrant a future painting.  Miro’s swimming was getting stronger along with his confidence, even though the sea was mild, there was the occasional wave that filled our snorkels with water. Nevertheless, we pushed on.

Swimming with the sharks..

and not a lawyer joke in sight..

The second location we visited was called Shark Ray Alley, and as we approached the area, everyone in our boat was getting more and more excited. We sat idle for about 5 minutes as Carlos fed the sharks surrounding the boat. He knew exactly how to coax them into performing the most dramatic show and the sharks were obedient. After a we were told the rules, don’t put your hands out towards the sharks, swim with hands as close to our bodies as possible and stay together , we were told we all should be fine.

SHOULD be fine???”  I questioned.  We are talking about sharks here! As Carlos explained, they are nurse sharks and don’t generally attack. The word “generally” struck a chord with me too, as you can imagine. I am generally fearless, and believe I am protected by that attitude. If I  believe only good things will happen, then only good things happen.

But, nothing could have prepared me for the feeling I experienced watching Miro jump first into the water from the boat, into a sea of swarming sharks!! My son is swimming with sharks and a mother’s protective instincts came out full tilt boogie! I felt a surge of panic conflicted with the overwhelming desire to trust and let go.

Oh shit.

The trials of being a parent on steroids!

Everything turned out all right in the end and we managed to have an amazing time and Miro didn’t have a clue what emotional stuff came up for his mom and that’s perfectly ok with me.

Our tour included three snorkeling locations and a stop for lunch in San Pedro on the Ambergis Caye (the city that inspired Madona’s song La Isla Bonita). What a magical afternoon!

The photos from the gallery below were taken with Carlo’s underwater camera he took of our trip together. If you ever end up taking one of his tours, he’ll offer you all the photos at the end of the day for an equivalent to $20 USD, burned onto a CD.  Preserved underwater memories, well worth the cost!

[miniflickr photoset_id=”72157621951838113″ ]


  1. Ivan Amador 14 years ago

    What a wonderfully brave adventure. Your son will be at ease anywhere in the world, its quite a gift. By chance followed you on twitter as I am half Nicaraguan, and stumbled upon a feed while you must have been in Granada. Wish I had the freedom and courage to do the same with my children.
    Safe Travels

    • Author
      ilainie 14 years ago

      Thanks Ivan. I’m already experiencing great changes in Miro in terms of his viewpoint on humanity and nature. It’s amazing to see how his consciousness has shifted from being an American, to now, being a global citizen. He makes a momma proud (and as in the case of this experience, sometimes scares me)!

  2. Robin 14 years ago

    Amazing pictures!!

    • Author
      ilainie 14 years ago

      Thanks Robin! It was amazing to see in person.

  3. Author
    ilainie 14 years ago

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comments! We loved Nicaragua, loved the people so much and loved Granada too. I hope to do a whole episode on our podcast on Nicaraguan soon.

  4. Author
    ilainie 14 years ago

    Thanks Robin! We loved the experience.

  5. Author
    ilainie 14 years ago

    Ivan,nThank you so much! I really appreciate your comments! We loved Nicaragua, loved the people so much and loved Granada too. I hope to do a whole episode on our podcast on Nicaraguan soon.

  6. Author
    ilainie 14 years ago

    Thanks Robin! We loved the experience.

  7. Anonymous 13 years ago

    “Should be fine.” Yeah, I can imagine the look on your face and the feeling of sheer adrenaline-infused panic inside while trying to appear all nice & calm for your kiddo on the outside. BTDT. You’re such an awesome mom!

    • Author
      ilainie 13 years ago

      It takes another parent to understand that feeling! Ah, thanks so much for thinking I’m an awesome parent. It’s lovely to be recognized as such. You know as I do, being single and doing this alone means we don’t have the support of another person to remind us of those things we need to hear, every now and then. I suspect you too, are a phenomenal parent too!

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