I'm basically a great big scaredy-cat.

There are some activities that I simply do not — and never will — understand. And the world of travel — where adventure and pushing oneself beyond the comfort zone is often part of the deal — has a tendency to put us right in the middle of these activities.

Like swimming with great white sharks. Yep — a human flapping about in the water with a great white. Unless you're particularly keen on the sound of a cello grinding out a series of repetitive, nerve-shredding, Jaws-inviting lower chords, swimming with sharks seems to me to be an utterly senseless affair.

Not so for my friend Sadie Whitelocks. She swam with great whites — albeit with her in a cage and them in the open water — off the coast of Mexico, towards the end of last year.


Her story appears in this week's issue. It's a wonderful read and did not inspire me one little bit to put so much as a toe in the water if there's a hint of a great white in the vicinity.

Sadie's amazing photos don't help — see for yourself.

Aha! You might say, that cage would have made her completely safe from the shark. Well, not if the fish decides to swim into the cage, as one did at the same spot a few weeks before Sadie's dive.

I'd like to think Sadie's story might inspire some of our readers to have a go at swimming with sharks. That's the idea with most travel writing, after all. But count me out.