Swimming With Nurse Sharks At Compass Cay, Exumas, Bahamas


Nurse Sharks

Sharks get a bad reputation as being the bullies of the ocean. For anyone who is afraid of these creatures, you’ll be able to face your fears and jump into the water with about 50 Nurse Sharks as Tucker, the owner of Compass Cay, feeds them bloody pieces of fish. As they go for the food they’ll swim at rapid speed, bouncing right into you (Note: Their skin feels strangely like sandpaper). When swimming with Nurse Sharks, pet their backs but stay away from their mouths and try to keep your hands above your head if chum is being thrown into the water and they’re eating (Comforting, right?). After swimming with Nurse Sharks myself, I can honestly say it’s more fun than scary and is a great way to have a unique adventure that can’t be found everywhere you go.

nurse sharks

I was able to experience this through the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, although most hotels in the Exumas will be able to organize a guided tour to Compass Cay or rent you a boat so you can go there yourself. Email the tourism board at [email protected] or ask your accommodation for more information.

*Note: For these photos I had the white balance skewed toward blue a bit too much and forgot to reset it before giving someone my camera to photograph me swimming with the sharks. This is why many of the photos have a bit of a blue tint. Other than that, these should give you a great idea of what the experience was like.


nurse sharks

nurse sharks

swim with sharks

nurse shark

compass cay

*My trip to the Exumas was sponsored by the Bahamas Tourism Board. I was not required to write this post nor was I compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.


Jessica Festa
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor's, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn't really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.
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