04 December 2011

a day at sea


swarms of sardines being chased by bigger fish being chased by birds

Friday was an insane day.  Some friends asked if I wanted to join on a shark search expedition.  I, of course, said YES.  One of the girls is studying sharks for her phd so she is always looking to catch some sharks to tag.  She has had a surprisingly hard time finding these big fish in the Red Sea, illegal shark fishing is a big problem here.  

So, four of us went out with this crazy local guy on his boat to hunt for sharks.  This guy, who will remain anonymous, has been a big game fisherman since he was a child.  The guy might be nuts, but he really seems to know his fishing.  Even when the current was pulling the lines under the boat he rigged up a kite to pull the lines in the right direction.  The boys helped fish for some bait (mackerel) and then we chummed the water with pounds of squashed sardines.  We waited all day.  And then, just as the sun was setting...

...we got a HAMMERHEAD!  These sharks are apparently very fragile when caught on a line, but we reeled him in quickly, measured him (he was about 1 1/2 meters), tagged him so that we know we have already caught him once, and then let him go.

Besides seeing my first wild hammerhead, we also spotted some sort of whale, loads of mackerel, and swarms of sardines.  It was a great day at sea!

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