The great whites stopped nosing around the boat, but they were still out there. The captain could see them on his depth finder, on the bottom more than 200 feet below. On the dive platform, William Winram strapped on a low-volume mask and long-blade fins, as did his twofriends. He planned to go meet the great whites today. No shark cage. No spear gun or knife. Just his camera. Photos and video would document the event.
Winram, 46, was calm, looking down, taking long, deep breaths through his snorkel, filling his lungs to capacity. He descended slowly to 60 feet and hung there, gently sculling his hands to stay in position. This was his Zen zone, weightless, heart rate slowed to near 30 beats a minute, his mind clear as the sea.
Winram couldn’t see anything below. He waited for two minutes, then headed back up to get more air, looking to see where the boat was, then scanning all around. Great whites always come from behind.
At about 40 feet below, he heard the throat-pulsing sound that the divers make to signal one another. Mmph-mmph-mmph.
He turned around to see an adult shark coming at him faster than he’d ever experienced. Normally, they were cautious and skittish. This one, weighing well over a ton, looked like he was considering a bite. Winram was too far from the boat to get there in time. And even if he had tried, the shark’s instincts would lock down: prey.