Shark tagging with South Broward High School

by Dani Escontrela, RJD Intern

It was going to be another day of shark tagging and I was too excited. After the last trip with no sharks, all I could hope for was for this day to be different. As usual, I woke up at 4:30am and began my long drive down to the keys, picking up Christine and Emily along the way. We had a pleasant drive down with a beautiful sunrise for company.

Once we got to Curt’s house, we met with the rest of the RJD crew, David, Stacey, Austin, Kyra, Evan and our fear less trip leader, Leann. Most of the gear was on the boat but we still had to some last minute preparations to make, such as making more gangions and getting a few more supplies.

Soon after, the students from South Broward High School got to the boat and right away I recognized a lot of familiar faces.  We did our usual introductions and then had a long ride out to the site. We went to Middle Grounds in the Everglades which was very exciting; last time I had been there we had caught eight sharks, and had also found the “bull shark lair”

Once we got there we deployed our drumlines. Something especially important was that we had new goodies: a brand new accelerometer that we were testing for the first time. After an hour of waiting, some amazing lunch and an overview of what we were going to do if we caught sharks, we went back to pick up our first drumline.

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Shark Tagging with South Broward High School

By Jon Dorsey, RJD Intern

Today the RJD crew met at the dock nice and early to welcome our shipmates from South Broward High School and special guest Steve Cooke. Despite the long bus ride and early arrival time, the Reef Dogs were in high spirits once they arrived on the dock and boarded Captain Curt’s boat. We had a long trip ahead of ourselves to a site named the Middle Grounds in Everglades National Park, but without the blazing sun beating on us and the cooler weather coming in, it was more than enjoyable.

Anticipation was high as we anxiously pulled in 6 empty lines, but of course on lucky number 7 the timer was popped! Leann did a great job pulling the Lemon Shark up onto the platform and the team immediately went to work. The students took turns collecting data and measurements for the team and before we let the little guy go we got the opportunity to sneak in some pictures.

The crew bring the final lemon shark of the day on deck to pose for a group shot.

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A great start to the 2012 season!


The first shark trip of the spring semester took us out onto the water near the Key Largo Dry Rocks, which are part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. With a boat full of drumlines and eleven great students and two great adults from South Broward Marine Charter School’s Shark Club (go Reefdogs!) we headed out to sea.

The Reef Dogs and RJD team pose for a photo

On the way out we passed a wrecked barge and got to take a look at some of Florida’s beautiful seabirds, including double-crested cormorants, brown pelicans, and royal terns. Although we were lucky to have a warm and sunny day in January, it was also windy, and wind often leads to rough water: several of the students on the trip turned a little bit green over the course of the day.

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