Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shark Sighting

Seeing a shark in the water really gets your blood pumping.  We've seen plenty of nurse sharks and a couple of lemon sharks before but those aren't the kind of sharks I'm talking about.  I'm talking about scary sharks.  The kind that can take a nice sized bite out of a limb.

We were in the stunningly beautiful Rudder Cay, the neighboring island to David Copperfield's Musha Cay, when a fellow cruiser dinghied over to say hello and tell us about a piano that the king of illusions himself had allegedly sunk not to far from where we were.  It made for a pretty neat snorkel excursion he told us, because not only was there a piano down there - but a mermaid as well.  So off we went to see for ourselves.

Because we have a baby, snorkeling looks a little different for us.  The three of us pile into the dinghy and head to our destination where Scott and I snorkel one at a time while the other stays back with Isla.  It's worked well thus far.  Snorkeling alone is better than not snorkeling at all.

Scott went first, and I followed about ten minutes later with our awesome Olympus underwater digital camera in tow.  The piano and musical mermaid were in about fifteen feet of water, with nothing around them but soft white sand.  It made a beautiful contrast in what would have otherwise been a very boring snorkel spot.  As I was free diving to get pics, I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that something was watching me.  I kept looking back into the dusky blue water at my back, but saw nothing.  I shook it off and attributed the feeling to a bonafide shark paranoia brought on by a childhood of watching JAWS I, II and III on repeat.  I swam back to the boat and no sooner had I hopped in the dink and removed my fins and snorkel when Scott's eyes went wide.  He looked at the water behind me and said very calmly, "Shark".

"No way.  No way.  No way" I kept repeating as it's black silhouette slipped directly under our dinghy with a slow and meandering side to side swagger.  This was no nurse shark.  "Shut up. Shut up. Shut up." I said over and over as we watched it swim toward the rocky shore.  This thing had definitely been watching me.  Not only that, but it had followed me back to the dinghy.  I know they are a curious species and I'm sure I was in no real danger, but still - putting two and two together was unnerving to say the least.  Scott grabbed the camera, put his hand underwater and started snapping pics.

We're not sure what type of shark this is, but he was at least five feet long.  The photos we were able to get were when we followed him into the shallows where he leisurely swam before heading back out to wherever it was he came from.  Suffice it to say, we didn't go swimming the rest of the day.  While I know it's more likely to get struck by lightening than attacked by a shark, I have zero interest in playing those odds while swimming with one.

From now on, I think I'll stick to snorkeling the coral reefs and leave the piano-playing mermaids to Mr. Copperfield...unless the shark was all part of the illusion?





13 comments:

boatbaby said...

Great shots! Maybe a Lemon Shark?

La famille Larose said...

They're really hard to diferenciate. I thought maybe a carribean reef shark? Anyways, I know the feeling for I have seen a few while we were in the Bahamas and never got quite used to their presence :-(

The mermaid sure has dusted up, even in only one year!
http://larose-des-vents.blogspot.ca/2012/02/rudder-cay-exumas.html

Following you guys makes us relive our trip. Keep up the nice work!

zombiecrush said...

AMAZING. Sharks are incredible!

I have the same camera and have brought it all over the world as well. SUCH a great piece of technology!

Mandy said...

Wow, I can imagine it was scary, but what a beautiful animal... quit an experience!

I love the pictures of the snorklespot, it looks really beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Lindsay said...

Eeek! This post gives me chills!! Even the mermaid is a little creepy. Love the last sentence hahaha :)

Brett A said...

I think it may have been a Bull shark... The images on google look the same. Commonly found in shallow coastal waters worldwide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_shark#Distribution_and_habitat

M. at Making Sense of Cents said...

Wow these are some great pictures!

Darrian Gourdine said...

OH MY GOD!! PLEASE from now on listen to your instincts the first time.
The photos are amazing.
If you take Isla over to Mr. Copperfields, you probably could get a tour... I'm pretty sure she can swoon him. :) ;)
The Shark incident was too scary for me, and I'm not even in the area. Maybe, it had a private recital scheduled with the mermaid and you guys just happened to be crashing the party unawares!

Neophyte Cruiser said...

Great shark shots! I'd go with a silky shark. Not a lemon, because the dorsals on lemons are nearly identical in size, with the anterior dorsal well behind the pectoral fins. It also doesn't appear to be a bull shark from what can be seen. The pectoral fins don't appear to be the right shape, nor does the pelvic fin. Also, the anterior dorsal fin doesn't appear to be notched at its trailing edge. It still could be a caribbean reef shark. Whatever it is, great pics and a wonderful encounter!

Huggy Bear said...

Bull Shark, we call them either Bull or Bronze Whaler, a very capable shallow water feeder, they are the most common shark for attacks, they are blamed for about 75% of all of the shark attack worldwide

Karyn Rothstein said...

Well....my take is different. We've dove a ton (over 600 dives for me alone) and we've simply found that sharks are curious about who might be in their territory. At one dive site in the T&C for example, where we dove numerous times over a several month period, we had the same sharks "escort" us along their reef, quietly keeping us company as we've enjoyed their neighborhood. Not eyeing us up as dinner, mind you! It's their world -- which they were willing to share with visitors -- but they weren't wanting us to move in! They are part of the ocean's beauty! ~Karyn

Anonymous said...

"It's their world -- which they were willing to share with visitors"
Very well put. Looks like a silky to me. Wonderfull encounter.

JP said...

Loved the piano art

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