Great Loop: Sharks!

Days 8-9: January 25-26, 2023

We finished up the voyage to Hell Gate with “The adventures of Boris and Mayli and the sandbar.” Read the whole story on their blog at “When it rains, the diesel will pour.”   That night we got pizza from a local place in a roundabout way. Delivery guy to hotel, kayak to our boat, and finally dinghy from our boat to the sandbar and Boris and Mayli. The pizza made it safely! A huge thanks to the HOTEL for the restaurant suggestion and allowing us to deliver there for pick-up.

After Saga was free from the sandbar and safely rafted to Lil Sudden, it was time to plan the next step, which included running into Jupiter to get a part to fix the diesel leak and swap out the pulley on Saga’s alternator. Both were accomplished by a dinghy ride, short walk, and a nice mechanic with the correct tools. With Saga repaired we checked out a close marina and they had space for the night.

The JIB Yacht Club and marina is one the intracoastal but also only a few blocks walk to the beach on the Atlantic side. That required a trip to play in the waves. On the path to and from the beach, they had a couple interesting trees. Not sure what they were.

You read all this way and there is no mention of sharks. Ok, here’s the story. Boris found us a little tour company that specialized in shark diving, and we were set. In fairness, they should have been called shark snorkeling but I’m sure they thought diving sounded much more impressive.

We got up early and dinghied over to Jupiter to meet up with the tour company. We had a great weather window, and the trip out was pretty smooth.

Once out a few miles it was time to get into the water. The current was pretty big, so they put out a line tied to a fender so we can hold on and not float away. The line also kept us mostly horizontal in the water, which is key to watching sharks without them getting too close. The way they attract sharks is by putting out bait in a box. It brings fish and sharks up from the deep. Almost as soon as the bait went in the water, we had sharks swimming around.

We were told to keep horizontal and not put our limbs down. Otherwise, the sharks would think we were trying to feed them or trying to attach them, which could cause them to bite. The other thing we were told is to keep looking at the sharks because the sharks would think they could sneak up on us if they knew we weren’t looking. All in all, these bull sharks eat a diet of fish so as long as we were chill, they just went about their business.

And now the actual sharks!

We swam with the bull sharks for an hour and it was a great experience to see them up close in their personal habitat. We’d recommend if you get the chance!

Day 8 Trip Details:
Hell Gate, US to Tequesta, US
Time: 0 h 51 m (13:23 to 14:14)
Distance: 1.91 nm

Day 9 Trip Details:
Jupiter Inlet Colony, US to North Palm Beach, US
Time: 1 h 52 m (13:02 to 14:54)
Distance: 9.47 nm