|Cape Cod Shark Diver||
In the August we saw dozens of prowling white sharks, gaping humpbacks, packs of blue sharks, pods of Common dolphins, and finished with a half-hour swim with a mako in deep blue water. It was simply unreal!
We swam with several mako sharks, a dozen blue sharks, a white marlin, and a large pod of Common dolphin. With mako sharks there’s often an edgy moment of truth – when the shark makes it’s initial pass. It seems no shark species comes in hotter than a charged up mako. And while the Common dolphin are somewhat common offshore, it is very uncommon to have dozens buzz by while in the water
This is not how you want to find a critically endangered species like the Northern Atlantic Right Whale. We came across this whale south of Nantucket over the weekend. With only about 400 individuals left, they are among the most endangered whales in the world. But that didn’t stop a 12ft white shark from enjoying what must be a rare treat.
The big animals are definetly here off Cape Cod. Huge basking sharks were found slowly cruising in cold but clear water. Finback whales put on a show hunting right in front of the boat, rushing by (as they move quick!) with calf in tow. Of course the humpacks were busy feeding by the dozens with their always impressive bubble nets. And minke whales feasted as a gigantic school of striped bass boiled the surface in a massive bait ball. We couldn’t ask to see more on just one day on the water!
It took a little time to warm up this season but the whales and baitfish wasted no time picking up where we left off last November. We have had miles of humpback and minke whales off shore, joined by pods of Atlantic white-sided dolphin. I have never seen more humpback calves as well as very young dolphins. It should be another great season.
With experimental trips come unexpected results. While the goal was to chum in silky and scalloped hammerhead sharks – Mother Ocean had different ideas. Big sloppy seas made for bone crunching trips offshore, and despite the freshest bait and chum, sharks were few and far between. Maybe it was the relentless and stiff east wind – and as fisherman say - east is least! But on the final day we ran across a lost Spotted Dolphin pod that has not been seen in some time, and never before in this location. I consider spotted being among the most beautiful of toothed whale species, and even better, they are the most social I have encountered. They stayed and swam among us for over an hour.
And back on shore the alligators took care of snapping at our lenses anyway. To the next time my shark friends!
I was fortunate enough spend a few days off the West End of the Bahamas with Epic Diving and pals Vinnie and Deb Canabal. Along with Joe Romeiro, these die hard shark divers are offering more intimate encounters on the infamous tiger beach. Brian Skerry, from National Geographic, was also on board for a brief scouting trip. I have been lucky enough to work with Brian before on our World Cat photographing basking sharks and humpback whales here off Cape Cod.harks and whales here on Cape Cod.
The first time I visited tiger beach in 2005 there were a few tigers around. Last visit in 2012 and we had an average of six tiger sharks on a dive. On this trip we had over 13 tigers on a single dive! Better, we only had a few lemon and a half dozen reef sharks to distract us from the big and bold tiger sharks. The action was “hot’, with even the well known large female tiger named Emma joining us on our dives. And Vinnie, Joe, and Deb know how to get the sharks in close and get the shot. It was over the top!
You can also read Brian Skerry’s blog on our dives at http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/18/brian-skerry-shines-a-light-on-sharks/
Late season is still very special in the waters off Cape Cod. It is mid November and the action shows no signs of slowing down. Just off shore giant blue fin tuna are feeding, and humpbacks have returned by the dozens. From bubble nets, fluke and pectoral slaps, to full breaches, the humpbacks are once again putting on a show – right off shore!
Wow - same story on a different day - tons of blue sharks in blue water with a dusky shark! I could get real used to this - but it's a short and sweet season. Enjoy it while you can!
I love the deep blue. Late season means blue water from the gulfstream filling south of the islands - it's the best! We were lucky to find a temperature break loaded with life. Blue sharks poured in, followed by a school of blue fin tuna. A mystery shark (dusky or large sandbar) and a mako joined the fray and it was just nonstop action in the water.