Shark Contact By Johannes Bley

As a kitesurfer, my mood rises and falls with wind speed. It was a day with a good mood, the wind at Providenciales stronger than usual and northerly, so I was able to ride the fun little wave there. Preparing for my next run, riding upwind, I was about 800m offshore when I crashed a rock with my board.

“But there are no rocks out here,” the thought came to mind a second later. Looking down into the water, I saw what looked at the time like a 20-foot great white. Later, recalling the picture in my head, I would think of it as a 5-foot reef shark. Who knows how long it really was, but a bit bigger than my board which is about 4.5 feet long.

However, after a couple of seconds of stunned stagnation on both sides, the shark swam away and I rode off—both in opposite directions, puzzled. At least I like to think that the shark was as scared as I was.

Reef sharks are known for being nosy, my diving friends told me later. This one was just there to check out what was happening, with no intentions to feed his appetite, I assured myself, as I promptly rode the same spot the very next day.

in Providenciales, Caicos Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands


Johannes is a boilermaker by trade but has spent the last years teaching people how to kitesurf in different corners of the world. He is currently building a kite camp on an island in the Philippines.

See Johannes's profile.

Johannes's website.


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