Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Tiger Shark

I am not sure if I can do justice to this story so instead maybe you can take a look.  We were coming back from a productive day of turtling and happened upon a Tiger Shark.  This beast was just offshore of Monkey Mia and would dip eerily in and out of sight of as it slipped effortlessly through the water.  It looked lazy and calm as if it was inviting us to jump in with it for a nice pleasant swim.  I was lulled into a nice false sense of security and was ready to hop in next to it for what would have been a great shot of the beast except that Jordy wisely said, "No one is getting in the water with that."  I am glad he did because I am still here and who knows what that shark might have done.

We did at least get a multitude of fantastic pictures and one or two great GoPro video shots.  I wasn't allowed to go for a swim with it but I could hold the camera in my hand, hang my body as far as I could over the gunnel of the boat and drop my hand in right towards the shark.  It was about 3 meters (10-12ft) long and obviously powerful.  Jordy would work the boat up calmly next to it and I would repeat this process over and over again.  The results were gripping.  Once as I had my hand in the water it turned right towards us.  It dropped under my hand no more than a foot below and gave us a nice clear shot.  My heart definitely skipped a beat or two as I saw it come straight for me but continue on passing up the mostly bony offering protruding towards it.  That little pass by did give us a beautiful shot of it which you can check out below.  Simon Alan, a visiting scientist and photographer snapped a great shot of the shark cruising by which is also below.

Looks like a predator to me.   (taken by Simon Alan)

Hey buddy  (taken by Simon Alan)

The Blowfish II and Tiger Shark   (taken by Simon Alan)

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