Shark Week and Shellin’

ThThunder

“When I walk down the beach and smell the salt water, hear the waves crashing against the shoreline, and feel the granular sand under my feet, I can’t help but realize why I’m here on this green earth” 

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I can think of a number of things that would constitute being the worst thing to happen to me. Not being able to visit the beach would be near the top. We’re not feeling all that great now, being away from the beach for a solid week. Thanks, rainy season.

In our last post, we explained a bit about why the water looks so dark lately. It doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon last week and this week is no different. We’re smack dab in the middle of hurricane season and if we’re unfortunate enough to get hit by one this Summer, ohhhhh snap. Look out.

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Couple that murky water with Shark Week on the Discovery Channel and you have a nightmare recipe. Perhaps I’m just paying more attention to shark visibility due to Discovery playing shark specials 24 hours a day for a week, but it seems as though sharks have been out more this past month or so.

When we were snorkeling in the Caribbean a while back, someone on the boat asked “Are there sharks in this water?” The Jamaican boat captain replied, “Shahks live in de watah, mon.”

So let’s talk a bit about the shark haps around here and what dangerous species tend to hang out in our area.

First there was Tim Nagy’s Tiger Shark caught near Wiggins Pass last week. Like, 50 yards from where the Queen and I were in the water just two days before on our July FBR Tour and a place I have snorkeled on more than one occasion. Tigers eat anything. That includes people.

tigershark

Then three days later, a teenager was bitten on a Sanibel Island sandbar, not far from Lighthouse Beach. Rumor has it that it was a small Blacktip shark. Nothing confirmed yet. Blacktips get around 6 feet long. The larger ones are formidable when hooked, and they have attacked humans in the past.

blacktip

Mote Marine has been teaming up with Ocearch to tag Bull Sharks here too, and one that has been tagged is lurking off Cayo Costa State Park. Bulls are very dangerous and have a long history of attacking people. We have many of them in our waters. Abundant, I’d say.

bull-shark

South Florida is known to have plenty of Great Hammerheads, which love hanging out and eating Tarpon near Boca Grande. Last I heard, no one is dumb enough to swim out there and pretend to be chum. Legend has it, there are a couple of 20+ footers out there. No thanks.

great hammerhead

Less than a month ago off Key West, a boat captain had a close encounter with a Great White that swam right up to his boat. Although they are primarily a cold water fish, yes folks, Great Whites do visit the Gulf.

great white

I’m not trying to scare anyone. I’m just making you aware of what is in our waters, if you haven’t been reminded enough this week. As many of us have learned this week, sharks really aren’t out to hunt you, they’re mostly curious. Most likely they’ll leave you alone. But be alert when you’re out shellin’. Neck deep in murky water on the Captiva side of Blind Pass proooooobably ain’t too smart. I have been that not-so-smart person in the past. Never again.

But are these sharks gonna keep me out of the water?

Pshhhh. No. I’ll be back in it this weekend.

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