No Sharks, No Service

Saturday, November 12th 2011

Ladies ruled the water today, as a female dominated group from St. Thomas Aquinas High School accompanied the RJ Dunlap team for some good old fashioned sharking. In addition to the lovely ladies (and Blake), we had the pleasure of adding Dr. Norse to our all star cast. The morning went surprisingly smooth with everyone showing up on time and having the boat prepped and loaded as if it were second nature. As we set off, through surprisingly “calm” seas (or at least calmer than anticipated), we knew today was going to be a good day.

Virginia and David pressure St. Thomas Aquinas High School student, Blake, into kissing the bait in hopes of catching a big shark. Click to enlarge.

When we arrived at our site, the first four drum lines were unraveled and ready to hook some sharks. Again, everyone worked like a well-oiled machine, and ten drum lines later the wait began. As lunchtime came to a close, PhD student David Shiffman and MS student Julia Lampe gave a brief rundown of what to expect if/when we caught a shark. Unfortunately, their spiel was given in vein as we caught a total of ZERO sharks. Nonetheless we took the opportunity to discuss declining shark populations and how apparent this is in Florida’s waters.

A few ladies go for a quick dip after an unsuccessful day of sharking. Click to enlarge.

Although we didn’t catch any sharks, our day on the water ended in high spirits with a little snorkeling. Overall it was a fun filled day comprised of both education and water activities.

Keep your fins crossed for more fruitful trips in the future!
Stacy Assael, RJD Intern

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