For most, the mere images of sharks conjure up nightmares and scenes of horror (partly thanks to Steven Speilberg’s factually incorrect movie – Jaws), and definitely something to avoid.
However, to a diver, sharks are some of the most beautiful creatures and one that’s to be protected and to be adored, preferably up close and personal. Lucky me, I got to do that just a while back right here in KL.
Aquaria KLCC Shark in the City Cage Rage launch
It all got started a few months ago when I was invited to the Shark in the City – Cage Rage launch at Aquaria KLCC from Dato’ Simon Foong, the owner of the aquarium who is also a Twitter user with the handle @Aquaria_KLCC. We “converse” via Twitter on numerous occasions, and that’s how I got to know the good dato.
Aquaria KLCC is truly a world class aquarium, right in the middle of the city
While Aquaria has been allowing certified divers to dive in the main tank for quite a while now, Cage Rage allows even non-divers to experience the thrill of being in the water with the sharks (behind a cage with protective panel, using a breathing pipe and mask instead of scuba gears)
Knowing that I’m an avid diver, Dato’ Simon then extended a coupon for me to dive at the aquarium, and I finally did it a few weeks ago, and here’s how it went.
above the main tank, just prior to diving
An appointment is strongly recommended, and I made mine a few days prior to the dive. On the day itself, there was another diver, Omar, who came to do the same thing.
We were first shown two short videos showcasing the creatures we are going to meet, then the dive masters gave us a briefing about the dos and don’ts as well as the dive plan.
Then we were off to the main tank! Check out the video above for the highlights of my dive, complete with soothing music for your pleasure. Yes, you are welcome.
the magnificent sand tiger shark at Aquaria KLCC
The dive itself was chilling and thrilling. Chilling cos the water is at around 24-25 Celsius instead of the more common 28-29 Celsius in local water (the sharks actually prefer even colder water, but it’s a compromise with other tropical fish in the tank), and thrilling because there’s all those huge predators you are swimming with.
we are in the tank! and became part of the exhibit
The big boys were definitely the sand tiger sharks, they look real bad ass but mostly just kept to themselves, showing only minimal interest to the divers. There’s also the inquisitive giant grouper than probably weigh more than me, beautiful leopard shark (one that we had hoped to see at Similan Islands trip), the graceful giant blotch fantail stingray, the speedy cow nose ray, moray eel, and much more. It was a feast for the eyes, never would you see such a collection in a single dive.
giant grouper, sand tiger shark, moray eel, leopard shark
The dive costs RM 400 per person per dive and lasts about 45 minutes to an hour underwater (or as long as you can stand the cold), bottom depth is only a few meters and so it is very safe. You must be able to navigate fairly well in the water as the tank isn’t open ocean and can be fairly restrictive.
Overall though, it was a great experience, and one that i’d recommend to anyone who wants to get up close to them big sharks, or to wet your bones during off seasons.
Now maybe it’s time to plan the next dive trip!