Wendy loved diving. She loved the sights and the lack of noise. She loved the feeling of the warm water and weightlessness. The only thing she didn’t love was sharks. Misrepresentations of sharks in the media caused her to think that they were nothing more than mindless killing machines. So far, Wendy hadn’t had to face her fear underwater, but then she saw something move on the other side of the reef. Something big.
Wendy was in her mid-40s and generally healthy. She had a couple of minor issues with her lower back, but nothing that would keep her from diving.
She had been diving for only a few years, but Wendy enjoyed the social and health benefits of the sport. Her one concern was seeing a shark. She couldn’t pinpoint exactly why she was afraid of them, but the fear was there, never far from her mind.
The air was warm and mild, just like the water. Wendy and her buddy, Robert, were making a boat dive in the Caribbean about 15metres below the surface. Wendy was entranced by the scene: The bright sun dappled the water, giving a kaleidoscopic effect. She had been underwater about 20 minutes, veering away from the boat only to explore nearby reefs and swim-throughs. Swimming slowly through a crack between two coral formations, Wendy caught something out of the corner of her eye that made her stop dead. She wasn’t sure what it was — all she saw was the tail. Wendy’s heart began beating faster and her breathing quickened, but she was more curious than alarmed. She decided to investigate, glancing behind her to make sure Robert was in sight before slowly moving forward.