Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun in the Sun

By the end of yesterday, I had a permanent smile on my face! After lunch, the weather was beautiful and the sea calm so I headed down to the waters edge to see if I could catch some sharks. My very advanced and highly technical equipment consisted of one mesh bag (similar to what you would buy oranges in), one rock (to weigh the bag down), a handful of self-sacrificing squid, and one large bin for transport. Once the bait was in the water it was only a few minutes before I was attracting marine life. The first to show up was a Hag Fish, followed by a variety of small fish.
Fifteen minutes go past and all of a sudden I'm staring down at a lovely Shyshark! I was so excited I almost fell in head first!  Within the next two hours I caught - by hand - five new sharks for our tanks. It was extremely fun, laying on my stomach on the rocks, face inches from the beautiful blue-green water, arm wet to the shoulder trying to grab at a stubborn little shyshark who wasn't listening to my gentle coaxing of: "There's a nice warm tank for you. We'll give you free squid. ... GET OVER HERE SO I CAN GRAB YOU!!!"
After I caught the stubborn little guy (he couldn't resist my charm), I was determined to catch one more shark so we would have five animals total. The only issue is that the tide was changing and the water level was slowly starting to rise, threatening my semi-dry perch on the rocks. But I held out until I saw the largest shark thus far! I could tell he was a different species right away because of the way his snout formed more of a point than the Shysharks I had previously caught. I immediately gave myself a pep talk that went something like: "He's really not THAT big! And besides, if he does pull you into the water - he wont eat you... Hopefully."
As soon as I had a grasp on his back he started to fight and I had to rush to get him into the bin before I lost my grip. The nice thing about sharks is they have denticles instead of scales, making their skin feel like sandpaper, so its not difficult to hold on to them. But Leopard sharks don't take kindly to being rudely forced from their beautiful home in the ocean and he fought to make sure I understood his displeasure. Never the less, he was soon swimming with friends and being fed lots of tasty squid.
I also spied my first glimpse of a whale AND saw a large pod of dolphins swimming past the harbour! Did I mention this is the coolest summer ever?

Love at first sight - shark #1!!!

It just so happened that I am wearing my super awesome SASC shirt!!

The large shark here is a Leopard, the little guy is a Puffadder Shyshark

More Puffadder Shysharks

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