Friday, November 11th 2011
Today marked a special day in this millennium, 11/11/11! Conditions were questionable before going out, with high winds and possible rain. Although the outlook was bleak at the start of the day we managed to land two gorgeous sharks, a blacknose and a blacktip. By about 10:00 am, ten drums lines were in the water and everyone rejoiced.
As 11:11 neared the anticipation drew the air thick. An executive decision was made to pull the first line in at 11:11 so everyone could make his or her wishes (hopefully for many sharks). Unfortunately, the first line came up without a shark. As the day drew on lines started coming up baitless, always a good sign; at least we knew something was out there. Eventually a student from St. Thomas Aquinas pulled up the first shark. The adrenaline and mood on the boat heightened immediately. The first shark was our beautiful female blacknose.
Once the shark was worked up and released in great condition spirits were renewed and everyone was kissing baits to keep our luck going. Within the next ten lines our second shark, a blacktip, was pulled up. As the black tipped beauty came closer to the boat her racing stripes could be seen, iridescent stripping along her sides. She was measured, tagged, and sampled, and swam away in wonderful condition immediately back towards the bottom.
The rest of the day provided no more sharks, but two sharks is always a nice treat. We were glad to share our experience and shark love with the St. Thomas Aquinas students and hope they learned a lot from the trip.
Evan Byrnes, RJD Intern