Posted by Ross-O on June 14, 2003 at 15:15:45:
Dr. Don and I dove Haggerty's yesterday afternoon. We entered the water at about 6:30PM. There was a thermocline at about 35 fsw. The water temp above the thermocline was a toasty 64F and below yeilded a chilly 55F. In addition to the stuff we always see, we encountered a 5' angel shark, an almost legal halibut, and a couple of swell sharks and horn sharks hiding in holes.
Our dive took us out into the far kelp in almost 50ft of water. Those of you who know Haggerty's know that we were waaaay out there. The very brief shark encounter happened near the tail end of our 70 minute dive. We were most of the way back to the shore and decided to swim back and forth parallel to the shore in 20 ft or so of water until one of us got to 500 psi. I had my head down in a hole and my fins up over my head when Don claims a shark bigger than me blew over him, headed straight towards me, and abruptly turned away about 3' from my head! I never knew it was there. I felt Don tug on my fin and watched as he put on the best series of underwater charades I've ever seen all the while making loud "Rrrrrr" noises through his reg. You guys have read Don's dive reports so you he's pretty eloquent. Well, his underwater hand signals are equally impressive. Ocassionally, he'll just confuse the hell out of me and I'll give up and just do whatever he's doing, but more often than not, he successfully conveys several paragraphs of information through 15 seconds of kung-fu like hand signals and facial expressions. In his fit of signaling, I understood that a serious shark of the Mako or GW category (not swell, horn, blue, leopard or soupfin) had just blew by me at incredible speed. We figured that it didn't eat us on the first pass so we were safe and continued the dive. When we finally surfaced, Don said that the shark was longer than me and had a really fat torpedo shaped body. It blew over his head and dropped right down on me. (Don was a few ft behind me and a little off to the side). The shark turned so hard about 3 ft from my head that Don said it looked like it bent in half. He was amazed at the speed. The vis was about 15ft. This means that we could see shadows for maybe a distance of 40 ft (20 on each side). Don says the entire encounter lasted less than a second. He said that the shark was the fastest thing that he's ever seen underwater and moved as fast as a car. I probably looked like a big sea lion with my fins flapping up above my head. It figured out I wasn't what it had in mind at close range and bolted. I really wish I would have seen it. I've never seen a scary-looking shark underwater. I wonder how many have seen me?
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