My experience diving with sharks
As I lowered myself into the tank full of 100 sharks for the Shark Dive experience at the S.E.A. Aquarium, I remembered what aquarist Fazhrid Abdul Karim told me.
"Sharks can tell when people are calm and when they're not. They have electroreceptors, so they know how fast your heart is beating," he said.
I was calm when I changed into the wetsuit they provided. I donned the diving gear the staff helpfully set up, and I was calmness personified as I got into the water.
But as my guide gestured me to submerge, my mind went to how, moments before, I watched a shark feeding session.
These huge animals all fighting one another for the mackerel that Mr Fazhrid was holding out, the gnashing and biting erupting in a frenzy of bubbles.
Bad move - it felt like my heart was beating so fast that the sharks wouldn't need electroreceptors to feel it.
As soon as we went all the way down though, I realised I have nothing to fear.
While some curious sharks did approach and circle me for a while, they soon swam away, totally uninterested.
The Shark Seas Habitat at S.E.A. Aquarium reminded me of the open seas in Malaysia and Thailand that I had dived in, complete with corals, rock formations and sand beds.
Ever since I took up diving 10 years ago, I have dreamt of being able to look at sharks up close.
Aside from a few passing reef sharks, I never got the chance.
With this programme, it felt like I got to be as near as I wanted.
So close that I could see the odd shape of the hammerhead shark.
I gaped at the huge tawny nurse shark, and it was fascinating to watch the black-tipped sharks dart among one another.
Surfacing from the 45-minute dive, I felt lucky to have gone through the experience.
- Monday to Friday, 1pm
- $188 (adult), $178 (senior)
- Top-up rate*: $152 (adult), $150 (senior)
* Adventure Cove Waterpark admission ticket required.
* Pre-booking required, find out more at www.rwsentosa.com