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shark/sea creature encounter stories

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Joined: 24 Dec 2013
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:35 pm    Post subject: shark/sea creature encounter stories Reply with quote

One of my top ten scuba dives was in very shallow (15ft.) of water off an outer British Virgin Island. Not the walls of Cozumel, or the reefs of Grand Cayman. Just a simple dive off a sailboat.

My brother and I are exploring a fairly churned up shallow area and we come upon a school of sweeper type fish (minnows). They school in mass, thousands. Like a big blob of mosquitos underwater moving to a symphony. We enter the mass as it moves around us. Inbound (you never see them coming), a giant barracuda begins to dart through like an arrow, collecting what it can. Left and right. Coming within a few feet of us. A little unnerving, but all is cool. Now the real fun begins. We are on the bottom, looking up to the surface just a few feet away, in about 15 feet of water, as if we are sitting in a living room watching TV. We have the barracuda piercing the mass of sweeper fish when all of a sudden, pelicans begin piercing the water from above. Giant water foul lawn darts! Boom, boom! One after another right above our heads. We were right in the middle of the lunch hour watching from the comfort of our couch on the bottom.
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Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1723
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Similar, but from the top side. About 20 years ago, windsurfing at Arroyo Laguna, several of us, Dean Karnazes being one of them, sailed through a huge flock of Sooty Shearwaters (all brown seabirds similar to seagulls), that were flying and diving in mass at a huge school of anchovies, that were driven to the surface by predatory fish hitting them from below.
I like run-on sentences.
The air was dark with them, they were going between our legs, between our bodies and rigs, and smacking into our sails. We weren't hurting any of them, otherwise we wouldn't have done it. However we did feel like we were in the middle of a very active food chain, so we were careful not to fall.

I don't drink the 'cool' aid, I drink tequila, it's more honest.
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Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3387

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squid jump in front of us in Belize, spreading their bodies like wings. I caught up with one and it landed on my harness bar.
about a foot long.
It seemed just as surprised as me, laying there squawking.
I slowed down to show my wife. When I put my hand on the squid to keep it from falling it launched and sprayed ink on my chest.
The stain didn't wash out of my rash guard for months.
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Joined: 31 Mar 1987
Posts: 278
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my shark story.

Around Cape Cod the Great Whites have gotten a lot of publicity in recent years. Just before they became popular I was eyed by one. I was windsurfing at the Chatham Cut. Only a few others out, and none near me when this big dorsal fin crossed behind me. I was just inside the break and on a slow plane. This big thing then came up alongside me, about 20 feet away, and tilted its head out of the water to get a look at me. I could see one big dark eye. We each looked at the other a moment, then he abruptly turned and left, flashing his white belly. It happened so quickly I didn't even have time to be frightened. I was not down in the water and had decent wind so I was more in wonder than fear. Spooky Shocked I estimate he was at least 12 feet. I was thinking at the time it might have been a harmless basking shark. We see those all the time on the other side, in Cape Cod Bay.

Nobody was even thinking about Great White sharks around there until the next year, so I wasn't hyper sensitized to them...I just kept sailing. I wasn't sure what I'd seen. After I got home I looked up some pictures and then knew what it was. I suppose it was inevitable that Great Whites would start hanging around this area eventually. The seal population started exploding in the decades following the Blizzard of '78 when the first cut was made in the outer beach. (There are two more cuts now, and the seals just keep multiplying!)

I've since learned that adult Great Whites are the only known shark species to eye potential prey like this. I'm glad this one was smart enough to distinguish me from his normal seal prey! I've read it's often the juvenile Great Whites that take exploratory bites.
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Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1485

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not particularly exciting, but over a number of years of sailing my formula board in Dallas, TX, I have been taken out 6 times by Alligator Gar. Late summer when the water is the hottest 80's +, they surface to roll and go back down. Moving at 20+ mph on a formula board with a 70 cm fin and colliding with a 3-4' gar forces an immediate nose plant, usually with no warning. It's the dead fish that's the give away. Sliced and diced, but not good to eat.

I have 6 Gar silhouettes cut out and pasted on the tail of my board.
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