Every year, Pelagic Sharks swim northbound in the Gulf Stream as a part of the great migration. They follow the mullet from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea feeding on the bait, and some of the larger predators that also prey upon the mullet on their journey up the East Coast. One Tiger Shark in particular has made herself famous in our waters for her curiosity associated with divers. One diver in particular has developed a relationship with this often gentile giant!
In the month of July, SA Company boarded the Shark Addicts vessel twice. You can read about our first experience here! On our second dive, we brought Chandler Grant- our resident exotic animal handler. We also brought Cassie Jensen, a World Renowned Underwater Photographer. After our dive, we caught up with Cassie and discussed some of her favorite shark stories! One of which being her most recent encounter with this acclaimed Tiger Shark. “Her name is Jenny”, Cassie Jensen tells us; Cassie does her best to describe the wonder associated with her encounter with Jenny. However, only the footage captured of the event can come close to doing the tale justice.
Cassie and her group are on a dive exploring the lower and middle column of the water in Palm Beach, Florida. Her small group of 3 awaits incoming sharks around the bait crate about 50′ down. After a few minutes of waiting, Cassie describes the following events as “truly amazing”. Jenny the Tiger Shark makes her way from the ocean floor all the way up to Cassie and her camera. Jenny wasn’t swimming aggressively, fast, or showing any signs of aggression; instead she swam directly to Cassie out of curiosity associated with the group of divers! The 12′ Tiger Shark bumped her nose on Cassie’s camera, swam circles around her, bumped her camera once again, and returned to the depths.
Although their encounter was brief, any shark expert will tell you of the destructive power of the a Tiger Shark’s Jaws. They’ll also tell you that it is unlikely (but possible) for a Pelagic Fish, Especially a Shark to express repeated friendly curiosity of a diver. Only the video portrays the unique nature of this experience. This experience could be ground breaking for global shark research.
Keep in mind, this is Cassie and Jenny’s second encounter. Perhaps this year, the two can make a tradition of their encounter. Maybe SA Company will be lucky enough to be a part of their next meeting!