Sharks get a bad press, a very bad press. More people each year are killed by dogs in the United States alone than are killed by sharks worldwide. So why do these highly evolved creatures evoke such feelings of dread and fear?
HMS Bounty set sail from the South Pacific island of Tahiti on the 5th April 1789. The crew of 46 had enjoyed a 5-month layover during which their main employment had been to gather breadfruit plants to transport to the British Colonies in the West Indies to grow as cheap food for the slaves. Many men had lived ashore and led promiscuous and hedonistic lives among the native women. Captain William Bligh had remained chaste himself, but was tolerant of the wanton lives of his crew and wrote “the allurements of dissipation are beyond anything that can be conceived”.
It was Saturday evening and the last place I had expected to find myself was in a cell in the main police station in downtown Papeete, capital city on Tahiti in French Polynesia.