January 6, 2012,
Its been an interesting couple of days. We've done a lot of hiking in the pursuit of sea beans, sea glass and shells. We've also been in the water a bit and had two interesting shark encounters.
The other day when we were at Raccoon Cay a 7 foot Reef Shark swam into view. Visibility was excellent at probably better than 100 feet. I was working a coral head looking for lobster while keeping one eye on him as he lazily meandered my way. At 20 feet he had my full attention as I floated up and bobbed at the surface. I take each shark encounter individually and this guy was just cruising through the hood so I wasn't worried. His body language was mellow but my concern did grow as he continued to come straight at me and finally passed directly under me in 9 feet of water. My first thought was “Wow, that was SO cool” and then he turned and did it again. The second time it had lost some of its luster. Fortunately Christy was in the dink by now and roared over and chased him away.
Then yesterday I wanted to swim an area I've never done before. I had a pretty brisk breeze opposing a decent amount of current and as a result the water was really stirred up. The area is pretty shallow and the visibility sucked. There was a ridiculous amount of sand suspended in the water. I could vaguely make out the shape of coral heads at 8 feet away. Trying to find either fish or lobster was waste of time so after 20 minutes of swimming through this shit I was just about to get out of the water when I practically ran head on into a 10 foot shark. I was looking down to my left when I looked up and he was right there, 4 or 5 feet in front of me. Evidently I startled him and he definitely scared the shit outta me because both of us had a mini stroke. I had no inkling that he was there until his sudden movement as he exploded away from me.
He turned 90º to me and darted away before turning again doing a frenetic half circle around me. I jumped straight from the water into the dink without ever touching the tube on my way over the side. Its amazing what terror can do for your ability to defy gravity. Needless to say, my day in the water was over. We went home and Christy thawed some ground turkey for Mexican while I cleaned the shit stains out of my wetsuit.