15 November 2009

Another Hammerhead

I saw my second Hammerhead Shark today!! It was on a dive at my favorite site, The Maze. There was a fisherman anchored nearby, and I think it must have been attracted by his activity. It didn't occur to me that he was probably throwing fish parts into the water until after I saw the shark. I didn't really get frightened (even though Hammerheads are "considered aggressive") because I was laughing too hard at one of my dive partners' reaction.


He didn't see it at first. He was just swimming along, as calm as could be, looking down at a Lionfish he had spotted. The shark was swimming in his direction, and getting pretty close. I realized he didn't see it, so I banged on my tank to get his attention. He responded slowly, lifting his head, until he caught a glimpse of the shark, which was now within 15 feet of him. His calm turned into shear terror as he scrambled back towards us. He wasn't in danger (the shark gave no indication that it even knew we were there), he was just surprised to find it so close to him. If only I had been ready with the camera to take a video. It would have been humorous to watch how quickly he went from complete calm to complete panic.

You can't tell from this still just how frantic he was. And it was much bigger than it seems here (probably at least 10 ft).


In the excitement of the whole situation, I almost forgot I had a camera with me. By the time I got it together I only had a few seconds to snap these poor quality shots. I can't quite tell from these pictures which of the two Hammerhead species it is. The rounded front edge of the "hammer" makes me think it is a Scalloped Hammerhead, but the curved back edge of the ventral fin is indicative of a Great Hammerhead.

Hawksbill Turtle

We also saw a large female Hawksbill turtle. It was resting on a ledge on the wall of the drop off and swam out into "the blue" as we approached. About halfway through the dive I spotted another shark in the distance over the drop off, but it was too far to tell what it was (probably just a Reef Shark).

Bar Jacks at the Safety Stop

Bar Jack

Bar Jack

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