Sep 16

Shark Bait

Tag: UncategorizedJonathon Haradon @ 1:35 pm

Shark bait

As we were leaving Beveridge Reef, sailing out through the pass, it occurred to me that I should take one more look at the pass through the reef.  The snorkeling and diving we had done in the pass over the last two of days was the best we had done for shark watching, schools of large fish such as grouper and bumphead parrot fish, and large coral formations forming canyons.  One last look was worth the effort.

So while Matt sailed out through the pass, I put on my flippers, mask and snorkel, put out a tow line, and then lowered myself down from the swim ladder.  We were slowly cruising along at about 4 knots, much faster than I could swim, but I could easily hold onto the swim ladder as the water rushed around me.

We were in a particularly shallow area at the time, a depth of perhaps only 15 feet.  It’s a tenuous feeling watching your boat rushing by the sea floor, less than 10 feet away.  I relayed up to Matt we should steer further to port for deeper water.

We then sailed directly over where we had snorkeled/dove the day before, on the North side of the pass.  The schools of fish were there, I saw the interesting coral formations, including the arch I swam through.  And of course the sharks.  Dozens of sharks lazily drifted around, mostly close to the bottom of the sea floor, about 50 feet down, though some were more shallow.

We sailed slowly by, at 4 knots moving slowly enough to look at everything again.  Quick enough that we passed by faster than my memory wanted it to.

And then four sharks peeled off from the main group and started following us, interested in, I believe, what they thought might be some food.  Me.

It occurred to me later that I looked quite a bit like the lines we trail behind our boat when we sailing on passage, trolling  and trying to catch fish.  Just a bit bigger.  Shark sized bait, you might say.

I let that go on for about three more seconds before I quickly pulled myself up out of the water and onto the swim ladder.  I might have been within 10 feet of the sharks while diving, but sharks tailing me like they were looking for food… too much.

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