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Posted by Merry on December 16, 2017 at 11:10:53:

No matter how many dives we make, the ocean continues to offer up occasional surprises. Sometimes the surprises are more note-worthy than others.

Diving the Hyperion Outfall Pipe last Sunday with Kevin and Phil, I was pretty jazzed to spot another new-to-me, extremely small nudi, Doto columbiana. Aggregations of them can be found feeding and laying eggs on the ostrich plume hydroid. Just photographing these uncommon little slugs was enough to make the dive special, but a few minutes later, the dive reached a new level of excitement.

I was about ready to ascend the anchor chain, but kneeled on the pipe to put something in my drysuit pocket. The shark (5 - 5.5 ft) materialized to my right; it was slowly cruising west, parallel to the pipe, slightly below me. After it passed by, something prompted it to swim upwards, turn left and face me. At this point I saw the snout strait on, toothy grin and all. As soon as it appeared to see me clearly, it immediately made an abrupt turn and took off.

During the entire less than 10 second encounter, my random thoughts were, "What's this? A GSB? Holy crap, this isn't a GSB, holy crap it's too slim...that's a shark tail, get a good look at the dorsal...holy crap it's turning toward me...what to do if it approaches...I'll bonk it with my left strobe."

No way could I get a photo to corroborate the sighting, but Phil found these images, which illustrate what I saw:

Image by Frank Nielsen

Image by Captain Dave's, Dana Point

My images from (more-like-normal) recent dives at link below.

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