Winds: 10-15 SE
Seas: 2-4 feet (sloppy)
Surf Temp: +/- 80F
Viz: 25-30 feet
On Saturday we started out like we normally do, procrastinating about where to make the first dive. We headed out to one of our reliable spots and were able to get into a couple of decent sized mangroves before they thinned out and we moved on. From there we decided to head to a spot that has recently been a little active with bull sharks. Little did we know how active it had become. In the first 45 minutes of the dive we got buzzed by either the same shark 3 different times (and places) or 3 sharks, you can pick whichever makes the story more interesting for you. In the same span of time we swam through what appeared to be about 30-35 barracuda except these were all within 100 feet of each other. We obviously realized that the predators were out this day.
As the tide switched, we decided to hit this ledge that we know and love (and loathe because of the bull sharks). Upon getting there, I see what looks like at least a 20 pound black and she heads into a small ledge that has a front and rear exit. I inspect the ledge from the front and believe I see her towards the back so I head around that way. There were also some Goliath Grouper hanging around and in the ledge so I wanted to be sure about any shot I made. After finding her hiding spot, I go down to inspect the hole one last time. Maybe it was the anticipation of knowing that there are always bull sharks here or maybe it was the fact that I just got impatient, but instead of heading up for another good breath before taking the shot, I line it up and pull the trigger. I hit her broad side and I thought I had given her a good shot. She immediately begins to thrash in the hole and completely clouds it up in no time.
Of course, this is when the bull shark arrives. She begins to inspect the ledge and one of the goliaths gives her a nudge, just to let her know who's boss. I look to my friends and advise them they need to keep the shark off me when I go down to get the fish. I go down and begin to slowly extract the grouper when all of a sudden she gives a big shudder and comes off my shaft! I go back up to the surface (after cursing up a storm under water and almost bending my shaft by sticking it in the sand repeatedly). I head up figuring I should have one more shot at her before the shark finds her, so I need to rush. I reload and start to notice how quickly this shark is circling beneath us inspecting the ledge when all of a sudden I realize that the shark coming around on my left is not the same shark that is circling around to my right. We've been surrounded two bull sharks. This is where brains win over balls and I call in the boat and tell them to come in loud. Thankfully enough, they weren't too interested in us and we all got back in the boat as calmly as we could (some more than others). Of course the conversation on the boat immediately turned to the subject of "Where did we put that powerhead?" Needless to say we won't be returning to this ledge without it.
Sunday was a fun day (nowhere near as eventful, thankfully enough). We were able to find and dive a ledge that had evaded us for some years now, because the water was always too dirty to dive in that area. But this summer has been so good to us from a viz perspective that we decided to try and were rewarded with one of the best grouper ledges we have been on in quite some time (check out the pics under this date). And the picture can't show you the cubera and mutton that I missed (thank God) and the bigger groupers that were a little to skittish to give us the shot. If the viz holds up, we will definitely be returning for some more opportunities on those beauties.