Botswana: Diving with Dinosaurs

My guide and I saw the croc on the surface, basking in the sun, laying on the papyrus grass. It was a Nile crocodile about five meters long and agitated by our invasion of its space. It moved lethargically and got into the water. We followed it, as it swam against the current.

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Richard saw the large croc rushing toward him. He raised his Hawaiian spear to defend himself. The croc pushed against the spear, pinning Richard against the river bed. The spear was bending, and sand was rising. The croc and Richard were swinging from left to right. Richard was holding his spear as hard as he could, swinging wildly from side to side. It looked almost like they were ‘dancing’. More likely, they were locked in a struggle against each other and not letting go. 

All this time, I had been following Richard underwater and was positioned behind him. I finned as hard as I could to get as close as possible to the action in order capture it with my super wide angle 14mm lens. But a thought was running through my mind, “Should I continue taking pictures, or shall I help Richard push this croc away?” Before I had to make this ‘painful’ decision and give up my camera, the croc let go and turned away, but not before it reached the surface and open its jaws wide, for one more fantastic photo opportunity to capture croc behavior.

Richard’s head turned quickly, looking for me, and directed me to swim across to the other side of the river away from the croc. We started swimming just above the sandy bottom of the river, pulling and helping each other to move against the current. It was hard work, but with the thought of the croc behind us, we found a new source of energy. We resolved that, under normal circumstances, we would likely abort the trip, but not this time.

We swam along the opposite bank of the river, presumably away from danger. Richard was ahead of me, moving leisurely down the current. I, for no apparent reason—just ( ... )