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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A whale (shark) of a weekend!

Shoowee sweeties!

Out of the last 48 hours, We have spent 37 of them at sea. Man, that was awesome.

The good news...  We had multiple whale shark sightings.

The bad news...  We failed to tag any of them.  They were shy yesterday.  When we would get close, they would dive.  I just couldn't quite seem to keep up!

The hopeful news... We might get another crack at it tomorrow, if we can raise the right boat!  And get all the pieces to line up.  My fingers are most certainly crossed...

Most of you know that whale sharks are some of the coolest, high vibration fish in the sea. They are most certainly the largest.  They are the big dudes, and one of my favorite fish to swim with.  They will sit and meditate with you, if you are chill. Whale sharks are filter feeders. They survive on a mostly vegetarian diet of plankton, and tend to follow the bloom, showing up in certain spots at the same time every year. Otherwise we know very little about them. Their mating habits, their migrational routes, what they do for fun on a Saturday night, all pretty much a mystery. I aim to find out more.

It is hard to say what effect the oil spill has had on these dudes.  We don't have enough historical data on their activity in the gulf to make an educated judgement, but I have to say, it was really encouraging to see these guys out there! Although one thing that has us a bit concerned, is that their diet seems to have changed to be more concentrated on bait fish. This has also altered their eating habits a bit.  Typically, they swim horizontal style and scoop massive amounts of plankton through their filtration system.  Over the past days, we have observed them feeding vertically on the bait balls, and letting the tiny bait fish jump into the gaping hole of their mouth. We are worried there might not be enough plant bloom food to sustain their typical diet. Send me some of your juju to get some tags in place tomorrow!  We would sure like to learn more.

And the most exciting news of the day...  I got a sweet kiss right on the mouth from a tiger shark!  She cruised directly up to me, was very curious, gave me a little peck, and then turned and bailed.  Aside from the kiss I am going to receive from my smokin hot wife that I will really enjoy when I return home later this week, it was one of the most exciting kisses of my life.

Pucker up, xoxo Brock

Sent from my edge of the Revolution!

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