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Old 11-09-2009, 03:46   #1
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Sharks

Lots of people mention the whales and dolphins they have seen while on the water but how many sharks do you see? What were the circumstances and locations?
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:52   #2
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Not as many as we used to, lots are endangered now, somethng to do with shark fin soup.

Isla Cocos off the coast of Costa Rica is a cool place to swim with them, huge schools of hammerheads.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:56   #3
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I was thinking more like NOT swimming with them. Figures suggest up to 100 million are killed each year and the shame is many are either caught in tuna nets and drown or just the fins are hacked off and the rest is thrown back and wasted which adds insult to injury.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:20   #4
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Took this little bit of footage on a delivery I did.
Seamount Sharks
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:54   #5
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Why wouldn't you want to swim with them - sharks are beautiful!
See sharks almost every time we dive or snorkle in Fl. or the Bahamas.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:56   #6
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Here in the Caribbean sharks are rare and very scared of humans. The reason - the locals eat them. Other fish are in extremely short supply caused by overfishing. Only sharks and smaller "silver-sides"(4-5 inches) are left. In the fish markets, especially Trinidad, sharks are the main fish offered for sale. Same with the other islands to the north except that there are juveniles of larger fish - tuna, wahoo, king, mackerals being offered. When snorkeling you rarely seen any fish larger than 6 inches around. That seems to be the cut-off on harvesting them. Conch, shell-fish, and Carib lobsters are very rare finds despite an enforced "season". Sport fisherman go out and spend all day and come back with one tarpon, or a barracuda, maybe a king or tuna rarely over one meter. The most popular available fish sold now are the little silver-sides - small fish about 4 to 6 inches long caught in nets. The fishermen blow the conch shell and women gather with plastic bags for scoop fulls on these little fish. I suppose they fry them and eat them like french fries.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:23   #7
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Hollywood and now these lousy shark cage "documentaries" where they chum the water has given sharks a false horrible reputation. Statistically, lightning is far more dangerous than sharks. Swimming with sharks is no big deal. If you go and dangle dead food in front of their faces then you might be asking for trouble, but that applies to all large predatory animals. Its a matter of using common sense.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:39   #8
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Have seen dozens of whales and hundreds of dolphins in about 5 years of sailing. Have seen a handful of sharks. One in Martinique (not certain), one in French Polynesia, one in New Cal, and a couple in Australia.

I think sharks are very endangered. I did not find them aggressive. I have heard of one fatal shark attack on a cruiser. A girl was swimming in an area marked "danger sharks!" - where local fishermen throw out fish remainders.

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Old 11-09-2009, 13:14   #9
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We had a shark trail in our wake for most of a night and into the next day when we sailed up from Tahiti to Hawaii. We were only doing about 3-4 knots. Big bugger, probably 10' plus just lazily swam along about 10 feet aft of the stern. Don't know whether he expected to grow and be able to eat our boat or what as we certainly didn't feed or chum for him to hang about. Kind of a creepy feeling with it hanging out back there. Got to wondering if it knew something we didn't know about the seaworthiness of our boat.

Snorkeling in the Tuamotus was always an interesting experience with sharks. Almost always had a couple of white tip reef and nurse sharks milling about. One time I was spearing fish across the lagoon from the village. I'd speared a couple of fish and had them on a stringer and was looking for more when my wife, who was rowing along in our dinghy, started yelling at me. I'd been so intent on chasing fish hadn't noticed that I'd drawn a crowd. There were a bunch, quit counting at 20, and growing number of 4'-6' long reef sharks eyeing the fish on my stringer.

To keep my wife happy, quit spearfishing and went walking around the motu. Just as we were about to step into a shallow tidal stream draining a small pond on the motu, a 3'-4' shark came wriggling across headed for deeper water. The water was less than a foot deep so the sharp had to wiggle and thrash about for 10' or more to propel itself over the coral and through the extremely shallow water. Don't think yourself safe from sharks unless your feet are dry. We found out later the locals never spear fished there because of all the sharks that hung around.

We got so blase about sharks that I even used to wake them up and chase them away if they interfered with my fishing. Sharks are wary of aggressive neighbors possibly because they are used to being the threatening one. Of course, you have to be aware of what variety of shark you are dealing with. The reef sharks are virtually harmless. There were a bunch of Italians on a Swan 65 in one anchorage. They were always trying to spear the reef sharks. One guy managed to spear one but it was only a flesh wound and the shark began to swim off. The Italian didn't want to lose his spear so wouldn't cut the line. He continued to hold onto the gun while the shark towed him behind. After a short tow, the shark had had enough, circled back and took a nip at the guys thigh. It was just a love bite as it only left a few teeth marks. It did get the guys attention and he let go of the spear gun after which the shark swam off.

If you see a big one with stripes down the side, might want to exit the water. A little shark identification course for any serious skin/scuba diver wouldn't hurt. Only a few species are known to be unprovoked maneaters, tiger, hammerhed and, of course, great whites are some of the dangerous species. Normally you don't have to worry about Great whites. They come out of nowhere and cut you in half without warning. Always wondered how they get their victims out of the wet suit as the uninhabited wet suit is usually the only confirmation of a great white attack.
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Old 11-09-2009, 13:55   #10
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All sharks are not created equal. I've seen many sharks while diving, but only felt threatened once. A big hammerhead followed us from the time we got to the bottom for the whole dive. Never really got aggressive, but was always in sight. Stay away from tigers and bulls, don't splash around on the surface at dusk and dawn and use good common sense you should be just fine.
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Old 11-09-2009, 15:29   #11
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There are plenty of sharks still out there. Here in Australia a girl got killed not too long ago at Stradbroke Island.
I have done a lot of diving on the great barrier reef and the black tipped reef sharks never worried us.
However three of us did get attacked by a medium size Bronze whaler.
We were very lucky to get away. The shark circled us and came in three times.
One of the group (braver than me) swam towards the shark and fired a speargun at it (less the sharpened tip) the shark took off and we made it back to the boat.
I will never forget the long swim back to the boat, All of us tried to get the inside position.
That was where I learnt you can reduce the chances of being taken by sharks by 66% by diving with 3 friends.
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Old 11-09-2009, 16:15   #12
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That reminds of some Bear wisdom. You don't have to be fast to outrun a bear, just faster than those you are with.
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Old 11-09-2009, 16:18   #13
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followed by a basking shark

While sailing from Chesapeake Bay to Roque Island, Maine, in late June 2008, I was followed for several hours by a 20' basking shark. Not quite sure what it found intriguing about my boat, but it was fun for me to watch.
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Old 11-09-2009, 16:25   #14
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Seen heaps of black tip reefies while sailing the Great Barrier Reef here in Aus,but they're small and nothing to be worried about,however on one occasion as i was anchoring I saw a pair of Tiger sharks (I think) they swam right under the boat, needless to say I didn't swim in that anchorage
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Old 11-09-2009, 21:12   #15
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Whale Shark T boned by oil tanker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
While sailing from Chesapeake Bay to Roque Island, Maine, in late June 2008, I was followed for several hours by a 20' basking shark. Not quite sure what it found intriguing about my boat, but it was fun for me to watch.
The chief mate on this oil-sucka tow reckons on his last oil tanker posting, the engineers couldn't figure out why they were burning so much extra fuel for the usual cruise speed. It was not until someone took a stroll to the bow, which probably is quite a hike on an oil tanker, that the reason for the increased drag was discovered.

T Boned across the bulbous bow nose was a VERY large whale shark. The water pressure had almost broken the carcass in two. They stopped the ship and the "road kill" slipped off the ship's cow catcher. This happened off Puerto Rico.

I know - if there are no photos, it ain't true. However good story anyway. Poor bloody shark.

See your mum told you floating, sunbaking is dangerous.
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