Whitetip reef shark encounter
I went for a snorkel a few days ago and saw a shark for the first time in a long while. Well, I did see one a couple of months ago at Two Step, but it was tucked into a small cave, having a nap. The recent one definitely wasn’t at rest.
I was fairly far out, near where rock and coral gives way to sand, and happened to be looking out towards the sand when the distinctive shape of a shark came zipping into view. It was headed my way at speed, which was an invigorating moment, I can tell you. However, I did have the presence of mind to snap a few photos, of which this is the best. Considering the state of the water and the shark gliding across the bottom, I was pleased with how well this turned out. I think it shows the infamous lines of the shark and something of its powerful, sinuous motion and I was glad to capture the eye and lines of the gills.
I suspect it had detected my presence and was checking me out. When it saw what I was, it decided I wasn’t too interesting, cruised by, and then disappeared in the opposite direction. I headed back in, taking frequent glances behind me to make sure the shark hadn’t changed its mind.
A couple of weeks ago, a couple of paddle-boarders were attacked by a tiger shark near Hualali Resort. Tigers sharks are responsible for almost all the shark attacks that happen around Hawaii. The shark I saw was a whitetip reef shark (notice the white tip on the dorsal fin – many have white edging on other fins, too), which is capable of mischief, but mostly doesn’t. This one was around 5 feet long, maybe a bit more. For scale, the yellow tang at bottom right of the photo is probably between 6 and 8 inches long.
Posted in response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge ‘Lines.’