Last October Norbert went on a ten day Australian holiday to dive the Great Barrier Reef. What he wasn’t expecting was to have an encounter that he would never forget. It was the sixth day of the trip and the morning started out like every other. Norbert woke up around 7:30, walked out of his cabin on the boat he chartered and decided to take a quick morning dip. After he had vegemite on toast with a side of honey for brekky he got his dive gear ready for the day.

Norbert and Dale, the skipper of the boat, loaded their dive gear into the tinnie and head towards Batt Reef. This was the main reef that Norbert wanted to dive since this was the last place his favorite Aussie idol, Steve Irwin, was alive. He was Keen to see the beauty of the reef but was a little afraid to run into a bull ray.

As soon as they got to Batt Reef, they dropped anchor, put on the Jaws soundtrack and got their gear on. Norbert was excited to be wearing his new seal togs he got special for the trip. Dale decided to stay in the tinnie to keep an eye on Norbert. While jumping in the water, Norbert nicked his paw on the boats propeller. Since it didn’t hurt that bad, he decided to continue with his dive. Diving down, Norbert felt alive in a way he never felt before. The beauty of the reef was astonishing. The reef was lit up with the colors of yellow, blue and red sea corals.  He saw hundreds of different species of sea life from coral trout, clown fish, to sea turtles. Norbert was truly happy and was having a great time!

Only thinking about the possibility of running into a Bull Ray, he didn’t notice the large shark that had been circling him for the last five minutes. It wasn’t until the shark was 50 feet in front of him that Norbert notice he was swimming right for him and that it was a Great White Shark. Realizing that this could be it, he soon regretted his seal togs’, swimming with an open wound on his paw, and noticed the Jaws soundtrack was fitting for these last moments. He closed his eyes waiting for the bite but instead heard “G’Day Mate, Fancy seeing you here young fella. I’m Bruce”.  Norbert opened his eyes and said, “I was sure I was a goner”. Bruce replied as he swam away, “No mate, fur makes me chunda. Welcome down under”.  Norbert waved goodbye as he realized he was one lucky bear.