Facing My Fears At Sharkbait Reef, Alton Towers

Anyone that knows me, knows that since I was incredibly small I’ve had a rather irrational fear of fish. Not even fish exclusively – marine life in general! I don’t know where it came from, I’ve had no massive scare with our scaly friends.. But it was pretty dominating. At work, I’d beg to opt out of fish related activities as when I did try and indulge, I used to promptly wet myself and curl up into a little ball. Not the best look in any capacity, never mind a professional one.
I knew when I first fell pregnant that this had to change, so I began watching as many documentaries as I could – from sharks to whales, although I do have a passion for our harshly judged predators these days I managed it. The end result, was me visiting Blackpool Sealife – we didn’t get any photographs of that (for which I’m very glad) due to me being a panicky, angst-ridden mess. This summer however, my love of sharks made me do something I’d never even dreamed I’d do – I asked to visit Sharkbait Reef at Alton Towers when we next visited.
I took these. Me.
When the time did come around for us to head to Sharkbait Reef, Mike and my Mother in law actually wanted a quick turn on some rides so I wandered in on my own – having my own thoughts and space was actually incredibly beneficial. I was able to shuffle into the aquarium, taking as long as I needed – peering around corners to have a quick scope around. As long as nothing huge came at me without me expecting it, I was fine – and it felt magical. All these years I’ve missed out on seeing such wonderful creatures up close!

As I mentioned, since my binge-watching of various Discovery documentaries, I’ve become enamoured with sharks. The one pictured above is a Spotted Leopard Reef Shark, and it was more than happy to pose for a few photographs – in the same tank are some Black Tipped Reef Sharks, but they were much more elusive and hard to photograph.

The aquarium itself is situated in Mutiny Bay, hidden behind the food stands – we didn’t realise Alton Towers even had a Sealife until I stumbled onto someone’s blog about it! It’s a fair size too, taking fifteen to twenty minutes to have a good wander around – perfect if the heavens have just opened and you need to take shelter, or if one of the little ones who can’t spend the day riding the Big Six needs something fun to do – and you can view the rest of my photographs by visiting the She & Life Facebook Album.

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