January 27 - We are on our way home right now from the Bahamas back to West Palm Beach. This was an amazing weeks with extreme highs and lows. We arrived in the Bahamas to find out we had shit weather that lasted three days. We were stuck at port, trying to make the best of it; some of us used to the time to catch up on editing, others used it as a chance to catch up on sleep, we drank beers, we watched movies. We did what ever we could to keep our minds off of the sharks.
We finally got a weather window and during the afternoon of our third day we left port and headed out to Tiger Beach. We didn't make it out to TB, because it was still crappy, so we sheltered up at a shallow bank near by. Which is our captains routine when the weather is bad, but not disgustingly bad. But by 8am the following morning we were at Fish Tales, Tiger Beach and the weather was freaking beautiful. We needed it, after 3 days of crazy winds and stormy seas, our guests needed this. So did I. It has been a rocky start to the 2017 season. The winter weather has kicked my ass so far. Thankfully today was just amazing. Now all I needed were some tiger sharks to show our friends.
We did not have to wait for the tigers to show up. Thankfully as soon as we dropped in, Maui the tiger shark was there to greet us. It was on! We spent the day diving with tiger after tiger. Once we started chumming the parade of tigers just kept coming. We decided to make our last dive a dusk / night dive. We had four tigers for this dive and Patches the great hammerhead showed up to say hi. Patches is one of Bimini’s great hammerheads that showed up here off Tiger Beach back in October 2016. She decided she liked it and didn't return to Bimini this season. Which was so great for us because if she stayed with us, that would mean that we didn't have to motor over to Bimini for the great hammerhead part of the trip. You do not leave sharks to find sharks.
A few Images from the trip....
We ended our fist day of diving with a bang. hell the day was so good, it made up for the three days we lost in that one day. The following two days we also amazing days with lots of tigers, resting lemon sharks, Gary the grouper (my buddy) and happily Patches stayed with us the rest of the trip. It was so damn good.
The weather did kick back up again. But thankfully it did not hurt our diving. It did make getting back on the boat a little more challenging. The swells were kicking the boat around a bit and so we had to be much more careful with the dive ladder.
On our final day we kicked off the AM with two morning dives. They were both so good. We averaged 5 tiger sharks on both with Patches the great hammerhead hanging with us the whole time. I have mentioned before how sharks have attitude with each other. Well I got to see a lot of fire between Patches and the tigers. She is a bold shark, and does not allow them to push her around. Despite their numbers and size. She bit the tigers three times in front of us, letting them know she was annoyed with them. Of course, we also witnessed the tigers trying to snap at her as well. The game within the game is just amazing.
Our final dive of the trip we dropped down to a nice dive with 4 tigers and of course Patches with us, but by the end of the dive the tiger total went up to 10 tigers. It was freaking intense. The tigers were on fire and I was all over the place, trying to make sure everyone was safe. Its hard to keep track of 4 tigers, but when there is ten it gets damn near impossible. It was an amazing trip with amazing people.
Everyone is going home super happy. Despite losing three days, we still managed to experience some of the best shark diving nature has to offer. We had an insane three days. But, this is why you plan trips over multiple days because you just never know what mother nature is going to throw your way. On our journey home, I was sitting there watching and listening to our guests have conversations about the trip. They were looking at their pictures and videos, smiling, laughing… and all I could think was damn, how blessed am I that I can bring people to this amazing place and show them these amazing animals.